Wooldridge on NPR

NPR’s Kojo Nnamdi welcomed Mapping Virginia author William Wooldridge to his show last week. Wooldridge appeared for the full hour, discussing the the fascinating shifts over time in the cartographical conception of Virginia. Long after Columbus, he explains, many explorers and map makers thought the Pacific lay not far beyond Virginia (a ten-day journey, according to one). A long period of grappling with the basic shape of the land finally gave way to surveying, the drawing up of state and county lines, as Virginia and the rest of the country was carved into sharply defined properties. The entire episode may be heard here on the Kojo Nnamdi Show official site. The web page also features a frankly stunning gallery of fifteen of the book’s maps, each with a descriptive caption, from which one can get an idea of the scope and quality of the project.