October 6, 1902.
Dear Mr. John Muir,
I am glad to receive your letter of September 29th and to know that you will undertake the Silva review. As for the definite plan to be followed in writing such an article, we should wish you to follow your own sense of the fitness of things--indeed, that you should take what for you would be the path of least resistance. A criticism of technicalities in Professor Sargent's work would, we think, be out of place in such an article, and as the great majority of readers of your article could not, in the nature of the case, become owners of the work itself, it seems to us advisable that you should give such a general description of the edition as first of allto let your reader know what you are talking about. Then you would naturally wish to give your impressions upon the way in which Professor Sargent has performed his long task. These points we think would be essential for such a review, but the chief interest to Atlantic readers, after all, would rather lie in such thoughts and suggestions as the volumes themselves might arouse in your own mind. What, after all, is the significance of such a splendid set of volumes as these? What do they prove as to the growing love of Americans for the outdoor world? What influence has an affectionate knowledge of American trees upon our advancing American civilization? What does it mean for the individual to cultivate under such guidance as Professor Sargent's an intimate knowledge of the trees of our own forests and lawns? There are a hundred things to say here, and you can say any one of them very much better than we can.
If you succeed in satisfying yourself with this article, it may be that it would not be out of place, after all, in the proposed California number, in case you did not hit upon something else which you would prefer to contribute to that issue of the magazine. It all depends, of course, upon the shape which this particular article takes in your mind, and I hope that as you think it over you may be happily inspired.
John Muir, Esq.
1902 Oct 6
Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 28 cm.
Perry, Bliss, "Letter from Bliss Perry to John Muir, 1902 Oct 6." (1902). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4749.
Reel 12, Image 0700
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