Alain Manesson Mallet; 1630-1706.
Precious little is known about this author, known to have
been a military engineer serving Louis XIV. His claim to fame
comes from his very successful "Description de l'Univers",
a pocket size thick geography book in five volumes, replete
with encyclopedic details, historical data, scores of illustrations
(landscapes, decisive battle scenes, towns, forts, harbors,
.), and quite a few simple maps.
The book was published between 1683 and 1688. However, reprints
were made later with german text (1686 and 1719).
Of note also his "Les travaux de Mars" in 1672 on the art
of fortification, and "La géométrie pratique" in 1702, a massive
study in geometry, trigonometry, planimetry and land survey.
This small map (4 1/16" X 5 13/16") was included in the
1683 french edition of "Description de l'univers".
Amazing precision is evident for the general coastal delineation,
and when it comes to China for the course of the rivers, the
location of the provinces and of the main cities. The great
wall is also quite correctly depicted.
Conversely the farther inland, the less correct are lakes
and the rivers (glaringly so for the Mekong). French text