Color Maps Like It’s the 17th Century

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Adult coloring books have been a huge hit in recent months, and there are thousands of different coloring books that adults can use in order to get back in touch with their creative sides and participate in a little art therapy while they’re at it. A bit of meditation with markers, coloring can calm the mind and stimulate creative ideas while giving adults something fun to do in their free time.

The concept of adult coloring books is actually nothing new. The trend of coloring in prefabricated pictures is over 400 years old, and one of the first coloring books ever created is being republished. This early coloring book was of maps and mythical images, entitled Albion’s Glorious Ile. The pictures were used to illustrate an epic 15,000 line poem called Poly-Olbion. The maps are of England and Wales and also depict local legends and stories unique to each place.

The pictures were originally engravings by a man named William Hole. The book was published in 1612 and 1622, meaning that the images are of what people would have seen in England and Wales during that time. Not only is this an important peek into history and literature, but a look into a society that also valued the connection between artistry and mindfulness.

The concept of coloring books for adults eventually was tossed by the wayside during the Industrial Revolution, but with the advent of the opportunities of modernity this particular artistic expression is making a comeback. William Hole and Albion’s Glorious Ile will likely be a wonderful addition to the modern concept of adult coloring books.  The multi-volume coloring books are set for release in the United States on August 15, 2016 but the books can be pre-ordered on Amazon.


More: 17th-century adult colouring-in book ready for modern hues, The Guardian, May 21, 2016.