A map of the war that gave Hong Kong to the British
By WYLD, James, 1842
A Map to Illustrate the War in China compiled from Surveys & Sketches and other Information by James Wyld, Geographer to the Queen and H.R.H. Prince Albert.
- Author: WYLD, James
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: Published by James Wyld, Charing Cross East London
- Publication date: Feb. 10th, 1842.
- Physical description: Engraved map, dissected and mounted on linen, original brown cloth slipcase, publisher’s label.
- Dimensions: 740 by 340mm (29.25 by 13.5 inches).
- Inventory reference: 12574
In the map China is divided into provinces by pink lines, but the importance of trade to the conflict is reflected by the addition of the names of various export goods alongside place names, like the “granite district”. It also contains several insets showing key cities and battles in the war.
James Wyld (1812–1887) was a highly successful cartographic publisher, MP for Bodmin, and an active figure in public life. He promoted the development of the British Library and campaigned for the Public Libraries and Museums Bill, accusing its agricultural opponents of trying to make the poor drink instead of read in order to keep malt consumption high; although he did oppose the introduction of the Ordnance Survey on behalf of private surveyors. Like his father, he was made Geographer to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1836. He built his business on his ability to produce maps quickly in reaction to new information and events, like this map of the Opium War: Punch remarked drily that if a country were discovered in the centre of the earth then Wyld would have a new map out “as soon as it is discovered, if not before”.