Ferraris: The man behind the map
Ferraris. His name sounds familiar for many map lovers. However, the lecture is not exclusive for them, nor for the surveyor or for the geographer, who are looking for their hero in the past and are expecting a discourse on triangular geometry, map projection and printing techniques. Instead, this evening talk is about noblemen climbing up the social ladder, about an aristocrat desirous to make a fortune, about a warlord with many military victories, and above all, about a man who dearly loved his wife. How man and wife endured the gigantic upheavals of the long eighteenth century, how they survived in a world full of revolution, is going to be the real topic of the evening. An evening that also reflects a beautiful memory of an Indian summer in Budapest, where hidden in the Hungarian National Archives a ream of fine paper with Ferraris' small handwriting was waiting for me. It was the beginning of my continuous quest for the man behind the myth, a cherchez la femme and, above all, an attempt to capture historical truth in the complexity of an individual life story.