Pearsall on the road with her A-Z map
Early in the twentieth century, Phyllis Pearsall was on her way to a party in Belgravia and had become lost in the winding streets of London. It was raining and the 1919 Ordnance Survey Map she was using was no help at all. London needed a new map, she decided, and she would be the woman to create it.
Almost one hundred years later, and even with the advent of Google maps and sat nav, we can’t imagine life without The A-Z, that handy road atlas which maps out every road of every city, town and village in England and beyond. I still have and use my pocket edition London A-Z, which was the very first thing I bought when I moved to London.
But how the story of how Pearsall, originally an artist, first came to create the A-Z is full of unbelievable accounts, inconsistencies and competing narratives, which are mostly due to the fact that Pearsall was a highly eccentric woman.
Her eccentricities were never more in evidence than in how she chose to create her new map: Pearsall claimed that, the very next day after her brain-wave at the party, she began rising …read more

Via: Melville House Books