Persuasive cartography: 1941 Italian map of Great Britain promoting its vulnerability to invasion.

i 50 Sbarchi in Gran Bretagna

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Cartographer(s): Visceglia
Date: 1941
Place: Milan
Dimensions: 60 x 79 cm (23.5 x 31 in)
Condition Rating: VG+
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A fascinating approach to persuasive cartography, this World War II-era Italian map records and celebrates fifty historical landings in the British Isles. The invasions are mapped and illustrated, and described in red text. They include the 1066 Norman landing at Hastings, earlier Viking invasions, attacks during the War of the Roses, the threat of the Spanish Armada, and many more.

Particular emphasis is placed on a common theme in the mythology of Fascist Italy: its link to Imperial Rome. Text on the back cover recounts Caesar’s Roman legions crossed the English Channel and conquered a savage indigenous populace. We are told that the Romans brought civilization to the islands, erecting buildings, temples, and walls.

And the greater significance of these fifty landings? The text on the map itself asks and answers this question: “Many things, and only one. Above all, that the invulnerability of the British Isles is something that can be doubted.”



La Visceglia is an Italian map publisher. It was founded in 1929 by Prof. Vincenzo Visceglia.

With the death of Vincenzo Visceglia in 1971, the Institute continued its activity under the direction of his daughter Rosangela Visceglia. Today it is directed by Laura Ottaviani, nephew of Vincenzo Visceglia.

Condition Description

Folding map, with wear and minor loss at folds.