John Muir



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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

Illus.: 120 plates with printed tissues: etchings, photogravures, ""photo-etchings""; halftone text illus. Price: $1.00 per part. This publication was issued by subscription (for exception, see no. 191) in a variety of formats and no subscription was accepted ""for less than the entire work."" We believe that no. 167 was the beginning of the publication; we have been unable to establish the sequence of the other formats that follow. From the many sets of this publication that we have examined, it appears that The J. Dewing Company, Publishers, San Francisco and New York, copyright 1887, was succeeded by J. Dewing Publishing Company, New York and San Francisco, copyright 1888. We have been unable to establish when this change took place; however, in examining a near-complete set at the California Historical Society, we found that beginning with Part VII the name on the front cover changed from the former company to the latter and remained changed throughout the rest of the series. In 1894, the name of the firm reverted to The J. Dewing Company; see no. 191. The title used in the early publications by the J. Dewing Company, Publishers, San Francisco and New York, is as above in no. 167. When the succeeding company assumes publication, the title issued at the completion of the set, as in this edition, is: Picturesque California: The Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Slope. California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Etc. New York and San Francisco: 1. Dewing Publishing Company n. d. [c. 1888]; also issued are ""Contents"" and ""List of Plates."" On the first title page, as per main entry, ""Volume I"" is printed; on the latter title page, no volume number is given. A single variant title page (Kimes coli.) that has the imprint of the later company, but the title and copyright 1887 of the earlier publications by The J. Dewing Company, Publishers, San Francisco and New York, raises the possibility that both companies may have begun publication at the same time. However, this will remain a question until more information is available regarding the history of the two companies. The publishers, having stated their intention to issue parts monthly or more often as prepared, continued publication in 1889 and 1890, although the publishing date indicated throughout the various formats is 1888. In a letter to Robert Underwood Johnson, September 13, 1889, Muir wrote: ""By shutting myself up in a room of the Old Grand [San Francisco] for two weeks I made out to wriggle through the woods of Washington and over the waters of Puget Sound. Then came travels for the Columbia & I shut myself up again from grapes and heathens [Chinese laborers] for a week but I am still entangled in the woods where rolls the C [Columbia]. ... ""In Muir's own List of the Published Writings ... , no. 195, he lists his articles in Picturesque California as being published 1887-1890. Muir contributed seven articles, five edited from earlier publications and two written for this work. Note: in cross references for further use of Muir's articles 4-7 (below), the reader will be referred to no. 167-4 through no. 167-7. All other cross references to Picturesque California are to no. 175, the two-volume edition, due to its greater availability in libraries. 1. ""Peaks and Glaciers of the High Sierra"" pp. [ 1 ]-18, was edited from no. 52 and no. 1 00; see them for pages. 2. ""The Passes of the High Sierra"" pp. [19]-34, was edited from no. 88. 3. ""The Yosemite Valley"" pp. [49]-88. In this article Muir uses excerpts from: no. 47; no. 50; no. 51; no. 59. He then used numerous edited portions of the essay in no. 181 and no. 308. 4. ""Mt. Shasta"" pp. [145]-174, includes: edited portions of nos. 36-38 and no. 70; see them for pages. For reprints of this article, see: no. 341, v. 8, pp. 29-[104]; no. 350, pp. 29-[104]; no. 442; no. 445. 5. ""Alaska"" pp. [193]-218. Into this article Muir weaves excerpts from nos. 91 through 99; see them for pages. For further use of this article, see: no. 184; no. 187; no. 188; no. 210; no. 216; no. 233; no. 341, v. 3. 6. ""Washington and Puget Sound"" pp. [265]-288. Of the beauty of Puget Sound, Muir writes: ""To the lover of nature the scene is enchanting. Water and sky, mountain and forest, clad in sunshine and clouds, are composed in landscapes sublime in magnitude, yet exquisitely fine and fresh, and full of glad rejoicing life."" After describing the scenery and the liveliness of the important coastal towns and cities, Muir discusses at length the variety and abundance of the magnificent forests. It is in this article that Muir first recounts his ascent of Mt. Rainier, made August 14-15, 1888. Upon arriving at Cloud Camp (near present Paradise Lodge), he writes: ""Out of the forest at last stood the mountain, wholly unveiled, awful in bulk and majesty, filling all the view like a separate, new-born world .... Long we gazed in silent admiration, buried in tall daisies and anemones by the side of a snowbank."" Later, with goal achieved, he continues: ""We remained on the summit nearly two hours, looking about us at the vast map-like views, comprehending hundreds of miles of the Cascade Range, with their black interminbable forests and white volcanic cones in glorious array reaching far into Oregon."" He concludes, saying: ""The view we enjoyed from the summit could hardly be surpassed in sublimity and grandeur; but one feels far from home so high in the sky .... Doubly happy, however is the man to whom lofty mountain-tops are within reach, for the lights that shine there illumine all that lies below."" See also: no. 244; no. 341, v. 8, pp. 204-[270]; no. 350, pp. 204-[270]. 7. ""The Basin of the Columbia River"" pp. [385]-414. Muir briefly recounts the pioneer settlement of the state, the ""marvels of the wave-sculpture"" along the coast, and the flora and fauna of the forests, dwelling on the beauty of the sugar pine, Pinus lambertiana, and its discovery by the eager botanical explorer, David Douglas, in 1826. After describing this ""noblest pine ... surpassing all others not only in size but in beauty and majesty"" Muir laments: ""Unfortunately, the sugar pine makes excellent lumber. It is too good to live, and is already passing rapidly away before the woodsman's axe. Surely out of all the abounding forest-wealth of Oregon a few specimens might be spared to the world .... A park of moderate extent might be set apart and protected for public use forever. ... Happy will be the men who, having the power and the love and benevolent forecast to do this, will do it. ... The trees and their lovers will sing their praises, and generations yet unborn will rise up and call them blessed."" The remainder of the essay discusses the rivers, particularly the Columbia. See also: no. 242; no. 243; no. 341, v. 8, pp. 271-[346]; no. 350, pp. 271-[346].


Muir, John, ed., Picturesque California and the Region West of the Rocky Mountains, from Alaska to Mexico. San Francisco and New York: The J. Dewing Company, Publishers, 1888 [c. 1887].


478 pp


30 pictorial paper-covered parts, illus., 41 cm.

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Picturesque California and the Region West of the Rocky Mountains, from Alaska to Mexico.



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