i'm genuinely uncertain of the purpose of the article, but the BBC News reported recently on a nonfiction prize given to a Brit research fellow for a book she's writing on the history of the UK's Ordnance Survey, the body that mapped the Isles. The article is actually the fellow's (Rachel Hewitt's) thoughts on the book and why she wrote it.
Founded in 1791, it was the product of a very different type of revolution: the French Revolution and its threat to English's south coast.
A military survey became essential, and the Ordnance Survey was born.
It was also a revolution in itself. The OS was the very first complete, accurate map of the British Isles conducted on a uniform scale. The story of its birth and progress is therefore a story of the history and identity of the United Kingdom and its landscape.
... British writers found themselves enamoured with Ordnance Survey maps from the start. William Wordsworth befriended the early surveyors; Jane Austen adored the sense of order that the maps gave to the nation in an otherwise disorderly, revolutionary period; and, more recently, Brian Friel has considered the OS's Irish map to encapsulate the brutal, imperial nature of England's rule.
I am writing a 'biography' of this iconic national institution.
Her whole article is weirdly fragmented and nonlinear, and it's hard to figure out why they asked her to publish the piece, rather than just interviewing her and writing a more coherent -- and cohesive -- article.
But I'm still interested in the book, and may request a review copy when it comes out next year.
Speaking of reviews, up next is a review of Experimental Geography as soon as I get some room in my schedule to breathe.