Helen Lukens Jones
[First draft of letter - in note-book #59] (43)
Mrs. Helen Lukens Jones, Pasadena, Cal.
My dear Mrs. Jones:
I have looked over your Idyllwild, and hinted some changes. I think the description of the trips to the hotel and to Mt. Jacinto should be shortened and the gen[eral] view from the hotel and that from the mountain top should be extended. In particular you should not mar the artistic form and effectiveness of your main picture by stopping and dwelling on the view of the sea from the "telescopic car." Leave that for the summit view, and describe everything in sight, simply saying that glimpses of the sea are gained on the way up. Never try to make too much of subordinate features or subjects, and avoid queer uncommon words and involved sentences, etc, etc. and you will continue to gain in power of expression. I congratulate you on the success already attained, while greater is already in sight.
I never heard of bears descending trees to attack men, when unmolested and unhurt, nor of their coming down head foremost. Tell your father that I have written to Washington, as ha requested, and that I wish him the success in forestry affairs which his faithful work deserves.
With best wishes, ever faithfully yours,
Original letter dimensions: 22.5 x 14.5 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to Helen Lukens Jones, [1902 Jan ?]." (1902). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4589.
Reel 12, Image 0147
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