J. E. Calkins


John Muir


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2passed by no other man in literature today. I am not a nature student, I suppose, but I am a nature lover, and I am told by my friends that I see things to which their eyes are closed. I also fail to find in the writings of most of the so-called nature students the inward substance that gives me satisfaction. There is not one of them whose book is laid down with real sorrow. They seem never to reach the real point with me. They tell a great many small things that are not always worth the telling, and some of which are hardly credible, but the inwardness and gist of the story they miss.But I beg you to let me say that the matter that you write — all too seldom — is real old wheat among all that lot of chaff. It satisfies and nourishes and sustains one. It is, to me, the very ultimate perfection of description. You put the scene before the reader so vividly, and so charmingly, that he really sees it, and actually walks through it. I know of no writer who so completely contents me. You have a rare combination of the meaty terseness of John Bunyan with the fulness and color of Sir Walter Scott. I find myself picking flaws with the framing most other men give their thoughts, because the framing either mars or outshines the picture, but when you take your pen in hand you leave no fulcrum for the lever of the03431


Davenport, Iowa

Date Original

1904-08-23 00:00


Original letter dimensions: 30.5 x 22 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 14, Image 0488

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Page Number

Page 2


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