A Book of Lost Latitudes is a deep exploration into the mystery and mythology of the whale in evocative line drawings. Inspired by the presence of the whale in lore and legend, the book explores its subject through allusion and symbolism rather than words.
Through evocative and lyrical drawings, A Book of Lost Latitudes explores the mythology of the whale from ancient times to the industrial age. With a distinctive graphic style, Tim Svenonius has constructed a powerful and subtle work, rich with symbolism and layers of allusion.
Each of the book's ten chapters delves into one facet of the lore of whales or whaling. Texts appear intermittently, borrowed from literary sources ranging from Ovid to Melville. Finally, a detailed appendix offers insights into the genesis of the book and cites many sources that influenced and informed it. It begins:
"The sea captains of the so-called Great Age of Whaling describe a profusely abundant sea, and what seemed endless numbers of whale-kind. As with the vast bison herds that swarmed the plains, an observer of the 1850s would have believed their numbers inexhaustible. But that time is long vanished, both for the whale and the whale-hunter. Those abundant seas and lucrative voyages are the "lost latitudes" of the title—an ocean Eden erased from the mariner's map."
- Tim Svenonius, 2015
This first edition is hardbound, sewn binding, 84 pages offset printed in black ink; dimensions are 11.5 x 8 inches.