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

Front Cover
Broadway Books, Sep 1, 2001 - True Crime - 404 pages
172 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
A cartographic page turner. - Goodreads
The premise was there. - Goodreads

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

User Review  - Stephen Parrish - Goodreads

Reading the reviews, I get the impression everyone's expectations were different when they picked the book up. I gave it five stars. The book is not only exquisitely written, it met my expectations ... Read full review

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

User Review  - stephanieisabookworm - Goodreads

This was a fairly interesting little book, although it did struggle to keep my interest at a few moments. It tells the history, through the present, of map-making and map-dealing as much as it gives ... 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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