This gorgeous map represents the marriage of good design and rich information that characterized French cartography in the second half of the 19th century. As outlined in the legend, the mapmaker uses colors and patterns to delineate the distribution of religions throughout the world, including regions of catholics, protestants, eastern orthodox and other forms of Christianity (called pays schismatiques), jews (israelites), muslims, hindus (brahamanistes), buddhists, confucianists, shintoists, and pagans. The clarity of the map makes the distinctions easy to follow.
All around the map projection is a wealth of information in the form of statistical tables, graphs, and text. These have been updated for this 1890 Nouvelle Édition with news about changes in the structure and hierarchy of Catholic institutions worldwide. It is like an encyclopedia that you can fold up and take with you, and we’ve really enjoyed looking at the data.