Alain Manesson Mallet; 1630-1706.
Precious little is known about this author, safe for having
been a military engineer serving the king 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.
Is. de Cuba et de Jamaica.
This small map (4 1/8" X 5 15/16") was prepared for the
1683 "Description de l'univers".
In a quite unusual manner it shows the normal coast delineation
of both Cuba and Jamaica (with part of Mexico and of Hispañola);
and also on the lower part a bird eye view of a naval engagement
and on the upper part the elevation views of Florida and the
Bahamas (both territories endowed with substantial mountains..?).
On Cuba, only five towns are identified: Havana, Puerto Principe
(now Nuevitas in Camaguey province), Baracoa, Santiago and
Trinidad (here shown as S. Spirito).
On Jamaica, only three towns are indicated: Sevilla (now Saint
Ann's Bay), Melilla (now Annotto Bay) and Oristan (now Bluefields).
Notice that the sea is named "Mer de Nort" or North sea, which
was the name given at that time to the Atlantic ocean (by
opposition to the Pacific ocean then known as the South sea..
this makes sense if considering the Panama crossing: "El Camino
Real" links the Atlantic harbor of Porto Bello in the north,
to the port of Panama on the Pacific in the south.).
French text on verso.