From the late eighteenth century until about 1840, schoolgirls in the British Isles and the United States created embroidered map samplers and even silk globes. Hundreds of British maps were made and although American examples are more rare, they form a significant collection of artefacts. Descriptions of these samplers stated that they were designed to teach needlework and geography. The focus of this book is not on stitches and techniques used in 'drafting' the maps, but rather why they were developed, how they diffused from the British Isles to the United States, and why they were made for such a brief time. The events of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries stimulated an explosion of interest in geography. The American and French Revolutions, the wars between France and England, the War of 1812, Captain Cook's voyages, and the explorations of Lewis and Clark made the study of places exciting and important. Geography was the first science taught to girls in school. This period also coincided with major changes in educational theories and practices, especially for girls, and this book uses needlework maps and globes to chart a broader discussion of women's geographic education. In this light, map samplers and embroidered globes represent a transition in women's education from 'accomplishments' in the eighteenth century to challenging geographic education and conventional map drawing in schools and academies of the second half of the nineteenth century. There has been little serious study of these maps by cartographers and, moreover, historians of cartography have largely neglected the role of women in mapping. Children's maps have not been studied, although they might have much to offer about geographical teaching and perceptions of a period, and map samplers have been dismissed because they are the work of schoolgirls. Needlework historians, likewise, have not done in depth studies of map samplers until recently. Stitching the World is an interdisciplinary work drawing on cartography, needlework, and material culture. This book for the first time provides a critical analysis of these artefacts, showing that they offer significant insights into both eighteenth- and nineteenth-century geographic thought and cartography in the USA and the UK and into the development of female education.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introduction; In the beginning was the sampler; British Isles traditions; Stitching a new nation; The world in silk; Needles and pens; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.
’This unusual book concerns needlework map samplers and silk embroidered globes made in an earlier time, especially by young women in both Britain and the US. ... A fascinating excursus. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' Choice ’Map samplers and needlework globes worked by young girls as part of their geographic education finally receive the attention they deserve in this well-crafted volume. Tyner’s attention to detail and use of primary sources make this a must read for needlework and cartographic historians and enthusiasts.’ Karen M. Trifonoff, Bloomsburg University, USA ’Stitching the World is the definitive scholarly study of an intriguing but little known cartographic genre-needlework maps and silk embroidered globes. Drawing on more than 20 years of museum visits and discussions with dealers in Britain and North America, Tyner serves up a highly readable, richly illustrated investigation of map samplers and the women who made them.’ Mark Monmonier, Syracuse University, USA ’With her background in cartography and her previous research on women in mapmaking, Judith Tyner’s book Stitching the World: Embroidered Maps and Women’s Geographical Education gives us a fascinating new perspective to the study of needlework. Bringing together examples from both Britain and America, this book documents known examples and provides a rich contextual analysis of their role in the education of women.’ Linda Eaton, Winterthur Museum, USA