Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company [The Riverside Press], 1913. Early printing. Hardcover. Duodecimo size, 86 pp., association copy (Jules Eichorn). Near fine. Item #20020907
John Muir (1838-1914) remains well-known and beloved today for his work on environmental issues over 100 years ago, and wrote extensively on the west, including Yosemite and the Sierras. He helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas and co-founded the Sierra Club. The original story of Stickeen appeared in "The Century Magazine" in September of 1897, and is considered to be one of the world's great dog stories. According to Kimes, Muir had his adventure with Stickeen in 1880; over the years he wrote and rewrote the story until it was finally published in this format in 1909.
The book opens with a poem by Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881) entitled "To My Dog Blanco". Although trained as a medical doctor, Holland spent much of his career as a writer, editor and publisher; he must have been somewhat known in literay circles as he and his wife were friends and corresponded with the poet Emily Dickinson. Although his work is seldom read today he was enormously popular during his lifetime, and one can only assume John Muir himself was a fan as this poem was chosen to open "Stickeen".
Of interest is the gift inscription, in pencil, on the front free endpaper of this volume: "To Jules Eichorn: Sierra Heil! - Cheers - Robert D. Lowry and Samuel R. Lowry, 21 July 1976". Jules Eichorn was not only a world-class mountaineer, but was also a friend and pupil of Ansel Adams; they served together on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club in the 1960s, along with William O. Douglas and Wallace Stegner. In his early years, Eichorn accomplished many firsts including the first ascent of the East Face of Mount Whitney (he was 19 at the time) and the first climb in California to utlize pitons (Higher Cathedral Spire, in Yosemite); overall Eichorn would make at least 26 first ascents in the High Sierras between 1930 and 1952.
___DESCRIPTION: Tan cloth binding, brown lettering on front board and spine, small vignette of a dog on the title page; duodecimo size (7.5" by 4.75"), pagination: [i-x], [1-2] 3-74, [75, blank] [76, printer's imprint].
___CONDITION: Near fine and could almost be deemed fine; the binding is clean and utterly without wear, the corners perfectly straight without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and other than the gift inscription to Eichorn (as set forth above) the only other prior owner marking we see is a pencilled notation on the rear pastedown "1 of 14 f (?)" - perhaps a notation of Eichorn's; there is a vintage bookseller's ticket at the bottom of the rear pastedown for Paul Elder & Co., San Francisco, the well-known publisher and bookseller of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the sole condition issue we see is some offsetting to the endpapers, likely from the dust jacket (now, alas, no longer with the book).
___CITATIONS: First edition listed in BAL 14759 and Kimes 281; a Peter Parley to Penrod "Border-line Selection".
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