440 – Dissuasive Cartography: the Emerald Desert « Strange Maps
This map shows the next best thing: dissuasive cartography. Its actual title is Cautious Cartography, as it appeared in the August 1940 issue of the Irish satirical magazine Dublin Opinion. The map purports to portray Ireland in as unappealing a perspective as possible. The text accompanying the map explains how cartography may be at least partly to blame for Europe’s misfortune:
Feeling that the present unrest in Europe may have been largely caused by the well-intended, but highly mistaken policy pursued by countries of boasting about their natural advantages and attractions, a policy which has had the not unnatural result of exciting the cupidity of other countries, our Grangegorman Cartographer has designed the above map of Ireland, which is calculated to discourage the inhabitants, much less strangers. The trouble is, he feels, that, even as depicted, the country still looks more attractive than the rest of Europe.
Maybe because the rest of Europe was busy going up in flames. But still, who would want to invade a country wracked by rheumatism, plagued by cholera and diphteria belts (not to mention ‘inspectors’ and pipers’ belts)? The interior of Ireland is further disfigured by bog and swamp, alternating with swamp and bog, a great quagmire and a great Meath desert.