San Francisco: The James H. Barry Company, 1908-1916. First Edition. Hardcover. Four volumes plus Index (complete), octavo size, over 3100 total pp., signed by Fr. Engelhardt in Volume IV. Near fine. Item #18082101
Father Zephyrin Engelhardt, of the Order of Franciscan Missionaries, (born Charles Anthony Engelhardt, 1851–1934) compiled what is considered to be the "standard authority regarding California mission history". This set with his signature, followed by "Santa Barbara, Calif." written on the front free endpaper of Volume IV; we can only speculate as to why the signature is in Volume IV and not Volume I, perhaps it has something to do with the date of publication of this volume.
This four-volume set (plus the Index) grew into far more than originally envisioned. As the author states in the Preface to Volume IV: "The author realized that something more than a popular description of missionary activities was urgently needed. Beginning with California, a cursory view of the situation revealed such uncommon struggles in behalf of the Indians against military usurpation and colonist cupidity, accompanied and followed by such extraordinary misrepresentations and calumnies, that only a documentary history would satisfy the critical student and intelligent reader".
As at times happens, outside observers judge a work differently than the author; the comment for this work in the Zamorano list states "This is the Franciscan's own history of their Order's activities and accomplishments in California. It is biased to the point of bigotry at times, and likewise sinks to complete dreariness. Nevertheless it contains much valuable and fugitive minutiae not to be found elsewhere, and when Father Zephyrin pursues Bancroft, (never particularly friendly to the Church or the missionaries) some sparkling passages result."
___DESCRIPTION: Published separately (Vol. I in 1908, II in 1912, III in 1913, IV in 1915, and the Index in 1916), all volumes full rust cloth with gilt lettering and rules on the spines, Volumes I and II with the tasteful prior owner Ex-Libris plate of C.C. Moore, separate frontispiece black and white illustrations in each volume of a different Christian saint (frontispiece in the Index volume a map showing the Franciscan Missions in Arizona and Sonora), additional black and white illustrations, portraits, and vintage photographs throughout the text including a folding map at the rear of Volume I and a folding table at the rear of Volume III, errata slip tipped into Volume IV on the dedication page, Volume I contains its own 30-page Index, a separate Index (the fifth volume of this set) was published for Volumes II through IV; octavo size (9.25" by 6.25"), pagination: Vol. I, (i)-xxii, (1)-654; Vol. II, (i)-xlvi, map (with blank verso), (1)-682; Vol. III, (i)-xviii, (1)-663; Vol. IV, (i)-xxviii, (1)-817; and Index Volume, (i-vi), (1)-186 (which also includes a "Supplement to Volume I"). Note that Fr. Engelhardt's signature with "Santa Barbara, Calif." are on the front free endpaper of Volume IV.
___CONDITION: Overall the set is near fine, each volume in its original binding with the bindings generally clean and solid, the text blocks square and strong, all hinges solid (professional restoration was done to the hinges of Volume IV), the interiors clean and bright, and other than the bookplates mentioned above free of prior owner markings; some bumping to the head and tail of the spines, most corners straight, a few gently bumped, a cracked gutter just before the frontis in Volume III, the corners of Volume IV showing some rubbing, the endpapers generally toned (with some foxing in Volume III) and it appears to us as though a prior owner matched Volume II (as the gilt lettering and rules on the spine are brighter than the other volumes). Altogether a near fine set, with added interest due to having Fr. Engelhardt's signature.
___CITATIONS: Zamorano 80, no. 34; Wright-Howes E 154.
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