Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey (Granta, 2010) tells the story of the creation of the Ordnance Survey map – the first complete, accurate, affordable map of the British Isles. The Ordnance Survey is a much beloved British institution, and Map of a Nation is, amazingly, the first popular history to tell the story of the map and the map-makers who dreamt and delivered it. The Ordnance Survey’s history is one of political revolutions, rebellions and regional unions that altered the shape and identity of the United Kingdom over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It’s also a deliciously readable account of one of the great untold British adventure stories, featuring intrepid individuals lugging brass theodolites up mountains to make the country visible to itself for the first time.
Map of a Nation won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize for Non-Fiction and was shortlisted for the Galaxy Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year.