The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime

Front Cover
Broadway Books, Sep 1, 2001 - True Crime - 404 pages
177 Reviews
The Island of Lost Maps tells the story of a curious crime spree: the theft of scores of valuable centuries-old maps from some of the most prominent research libraries in the United States and Canada. The perpetrator was Gilbert Joseph Bland, Jr., an enigmatic antiques dealer from South Florida, whose cross-country slash-and-dash operation had gone virtually undetected until he was caught in 1995–and was unmasked as the most prolific American map thief in history. As Miles Harvey unravels the mystery of Bland’s life, he maps out the world of cartography and cartographic crime, weaving together a fascinating story of exploration, craftsmanship, villainy, and the lure of the unknown.

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His writing style is superb. - Goodreads
Too many digressions, too much pop psychology. - Goodreads
The illustrations were phenomenal. - Goodreads
I did enjoy the book, but it wasn't a page turner. - Goodreads
Now consider writing a whole book on the subject. - Goodreads
A cartographic page turner. - Goodreads

Review: The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime

User Review  - Jerzy - Goodreads

Parts are worth the read, but other parts *really* need to be skimmed. I was expecting, and got, a book full of interesting tidbits about the history of maps and mapmaking, interweaved with a quest to ... Read full review

Review: The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime

User Review  - Purlewe - Goodreads

I wish I could say this was a better book. The premise was there. But after awhile the man as map as metaphor got tiring. And I do feel (no pun intended) that the author got lost along the way. It was ... Read full review

About the author (2001)

Miles Harvey began reporting on Gilbert Bland in 1996 for Outside magazine. He has worked for UPI and In These Times, and he was the book-review columnist for Outside. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the University of Michigan, he has had a lifelong fascination with maps. He can be reached via the Internet at

From the Hardcover edition.

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