The Land of Heart’s Delight

Early Maps and Charts of Vancouver Island

By (author): Michael Layland
ISBN 9781771510158
Hardcover | Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Book Dimensions: 10.125 in x 9.375 in
240 Pages

About the Book

Shortlisted for the 2014 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize
Shortlisted for a 2014 BC Book Prize
Finalist for the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing

Just how, and why, did Vancouver Island get onto the map? How was knowledge of our immediate geography acquired and recorded? With 130 maps, dating between 1593 and 1915, this cartographic history tells the story of how Vancouver Island and the surrounding area came to be mapped. The book shows local cartographic milestones, marking progress in our knowledge through the island’s rich—although comparatively short—recorded history. However, the maps, by themselves and without context, cannot tell the whole story. The accompanying text reveals the motives, constraints, agendas, and intrigues that underpin their making.

The narrative, roughly chronological, begins before the arrival of Europeans and concludes at the outset of the First World War and includes an introduction on the history and significance of map-making, as well as an afterword summarizing subsequent cartographic developments. Also included are an index, endnotes, a list of cartographic sources, and a glossary.

About the Author(s)

Michael Layland was president of the Victoria Historical Society, the Friends of the BC Archives, and is an amateur naturalist. Trained as an officer and mapmaker in the Royal Engineers, now retired, he has authored three books on the progression of European knowledge of Vancouver Island. Discover more at