Science and Nature

The Queen Mary Atlas

The Queen Mary Atlas Cover
The ‘Queen Mary Atlas’, though now incomplete, is one of the most magnificent examples of Portuguese mapmaking. Its charts track the progress of Portuguese sailors who since 1415 had sailed down the west coast of Africa, far beyond the confines of the known world, in search of spices, non-Christian souls and slaves.

The atlas was probably commissioned by Mary I as a gift for her husband, Philip II of Spain, a few months after their marriage in June 1554. Its creator, Diogo Homem, belonged to a distinguished Portuguese mapmaking dynasty.

Philip never received the atlas. It seems only to have been completed after Mary’s death in November 1558.

This eBookTreasures facsimile edition contains the complete manuscript.


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A Medieval Bestiary

A Medieval Bestiary
A bestiary is a book of real and imaginary beasts, though its subjects can extend to plants and even rocks. It combines description of the physical nature and habits of animals with elaboration on the moral or spiritual significance of these characteristics.

This amazing book was produced in the first decade of the 13th century, and is one of the earliest bestiaries to feature vivid paintings of animals.

This enhanced eBookTreasures facsimile edition of selected pages from the original manuscript and contains text and audio interpretation on every page.


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Forme of Cury

Forme of Cury Cover

14th Century Cookbook

The Forme of Cury is the oldest surviving cookbook in the world, dating from the late 14th century. Originally made by the cooks of the court of Richard II, very few copies survive, and this one, from the John Rylands Library in Manchester, is probably the best and earliest. Written in Middle English, the script can be hard to interpret, and some of the recipes unfamiliar. The book gives an incredible insight into medieval kitchens, as well as medieval life itself.


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Birds of America

Birds of America Cover

by John James Audubon

Simply the most important book of birds ever made. For eighteen years from 1820, to the completion of the project in 1838, John James Audubon painted 435 North American birds, and then arranged to have them engraved and printed in the United Kingdom.

In order to display the birds in as lifelike a way as possible, the size of the original edition was enormous, 39.5″ by 28.5″, or double-elephant folio. The prints were issued in sets of five, with each set containing one large plate and 4 medium or smaller plates.


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Mercator’s Atlas of Europe 1572

Mercators Atlas of Europe Cover

by Gerardus Mercator

Some time around 1572 the Crown Prince of Cleves wanted to go on a European tour. But he found there were no reliable atlases. So his father asked Gerardus Mercator, the most famous map-maker of the time, to compile him one from copies of wall maps, cut and pasted to form a handy, portable atlas.


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Codex Arundel

Codex Arundel

by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was possibly the most widely talented person ever to live. Painter of The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, engineer, architect, anatomist, he defined Renaissance Man like no other.

Codex Arundel is a collection of notes made between 1480 and 1518, dealing mainly with mechanics and geometry. Amongst the highlights are studies on the moons reflection of light, the movement of water, observations on the production of sound and light, and designs for diving apparatus.


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