A Complete & Elegant Tour : Russia and the World of an 18th-Century Map Game

image of map
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

In 1790, in St. Paul's Churchyard, London, Henry Carington Bowles and Samuel Carver looked about their busy printshop and decided it was the right moment to introduce the English-speaking world to a new game called "A "Geographical Game of the World." The game took the form of what was, in their words, a "New, complete, and elegant Tour through the known Parts thereof, laid down on Mercator's projection." In other words, the gameboard itself was a map. It became an overnight sensation and went through multiple editions over the next decade.

In this interactive StoryMap, Kelly O'Neill, director of the Imperiia Project, explains how the design of the game shaped the way players thought about the world on the cusp of the 19th century, particularly how the British public thought about the Russian Empire.

Intrigued? Learn about the history of the game, then play it yourself!