Here is a series of anthropomorphic (humanoid) maps of the various nations of mid-19th C. Europe. As the idea of nationhood develops it employs the stereotype: the abstracted or idealized person representing the characteristics accepted as typical of a certain nationality.
This particular series was created in England in 1869. Can we learn anything about the "English point of view" regarding the continental peoples?
Geographical Fun: Being Humourous Outlines of Various Countries was first published in London by the firm of Hodder and Stoughton in 1869. The atlas consists of twelve maps of European countries; each with a unique national stereotype created by the author based on the outline and shape of the country. Each image is accompanied by a short verse describing the authors creation.
In the introduction to the atlas, the author, William Harvey, writing under the pseudonym Aleph, described his intention in creating the atlas: "It is believed that illustrations of Geography may be rendered educational, and prove of service to young Scholars who commonly think Globes and Maps but wearisome aids to knowledge...... If these geographical puzzles excite the mirth of children, the amusement of the moment may lead to the profitable curiosity of youthful students and embue the mind with a healthful taste for foreign lands."To read the full introduction, please click here
The resulting fanciful caricatures include England in the form of Queen Victoria; Scotland as a gallant Piper struggling through the bogs; Wales in the form of Owen Glendowr; Ireland as a Peasant, happy in her baby's smile; France as an Empress of cooks, fashions, and the dance; Spain and Portugal joined in lasting amity; Italy as a revolutionary figure complete with liberty cap; Prussia in the personages of Friedrich Wilhelm and Prime Minister Bismarck; Germany as a lady dancing; Holland and Belgium as female figures who represent perfect art made grand; Denmark as a female figure with ice skates; and Russia as the classic bear.
Beautiful England, - on her Island throne,
Grandly she rules, - with half the world her own;
From her vast empire the sun ne'er departs:
She reigns a Queen - Victoria, Queen of Hearts.
HOLLAND & BELGIUM