A Map of the Truelove River
Stuck in Despair Marsh, or marching up the Determination Hills?
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
This early 20th century postcard, Shewing the Course of the Truelove River, charts that stream from its two headlands in the (Angelina River) and at Indifference Hill (Edwin River). Those two flows unite at the Falls of Dislike, follow a united course as the Truelove River through the Valley of Disdain – between the Mountains of Melancholy and Determination Hills.
After the Evasion Rapids, a river branch dead-ends at Despair Marsh, while its main flow turns sharply south at Pity Bend, then avoiding Friendship Corner to reach Tenderness Crossing, Kissing Ford and eventually Trothplight.
Then Opposition Bend, Angrysire, Separation Deep and Misery Marsh complete the encirclement of Sentimental Meadow. When the river flows out of Misery Marsh via Correspondence Outlet, it manages to slide by Richrival Bend, Sickbed and Sinking.
The localities of Fathersheart, Telegraph and Convalescence (all across the river from Bannshire), the Truelove River opens up into License Channel at Nameday. After Ring Cape, Altar Bay and Honeymoon Island, the Truelove River has morphed into the limitless Sea of Matrimony.
This map is reminiscent of other emotional cartography in a previous post, namely the A German Map of the Empire of Love (#59). However, whereas that map portrays love as any one of several different, static areas, the Truelove River presents love as a process in constant change, leading to a certain goal.
Strange Maps #152
Got a strange map? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Technology has helped millions out of poverty, says author Elad Gil.
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