Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company [The Riverside Press], 1909. First Edition. Hardcover. First printing in book form, duodecimo size, 86 pp., with original dust jacket and publisher's prospectus. Very good / fair. Item #20050601
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".
___DESCRIPTION: Tan cloth binding, brown lettering on front board and spine, foredge uncut, 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]. The original dust jacket is of plain brown paper, brown lettering on the front and spine, publisher's ad for "Our National Parks" on the back panel (originally published in 1901, in 1909 a "New and Enlarged Edition" was published), both flaps are blank. Publisher's prospectus is a single sheet of cream paper measuring 5 5/8" by 3.25", printed in green, on the front is the announcement for "Stickeen" stating "Just Published", with a photograph of John Muir with Stickeen, original cost "60 cents net...Postage 8 cents"; on the back the publisher is touting the new and enlarged "Our National Parks" with five review blurbs.
___CONDITION: Volume is a solid very good, with a strong, square text block, the front hinge solid and the rear hinge just starting (board still solidly attached), the interior is clean and bright, the only prior owner markings we see are two small numbers stamped at the bottom of the front pastedown near the hinge (perhaps an old bookseller code); some light overall soiling and edgewear to the binding with fraying at the head and tail, a small wormhole at the very top of the back joint, and a small closed tear to the cloth at the middle of the spine. The original dust jacket is fair; it came to us in pieces (front and back panel, both flaps, and remnants of the spine), a professional (name available upon request) has assembled the pieces together using Japanese tape; note that we chose not to adhere the pieces to any backing allowing more exensive restoration should it be desired. The publisher's prospectus is fine, clean and free of wear, with perhaps a hint of toning along one edge.
___CITATIONS: BAL 14759, Kimes 281, with the publication date of 1909 on the title page and "Published March 1909" on the copyright page; a Peter Parley to Penrod "Border-line Selection".
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