“The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts": First Edition of John Muir's A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf; In the Rare Original Dust Jacket

  • A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf.

A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf.

Item Number: 33047

Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916.

First edition. Octavo, original green cloth, color pictorial cover label, lettered in white, top edge gilt. Edited with an introduction by William Frederic Badè. Illustrated with several plates from photographs, including a frontispiece portrait with tissue guard; map. In excellent condition in the original dust jacket with some chips and tears. First editions in the original dust jacket are exceptionally rare.

In 1867, John Muir, age twenty-eight, was blinded in an industrial accident. He lay in bed for two weeks wondering if he would ever see again. When his sight miraculously returned, Muir resolved to devote all his time to the great passion of his life -- studying plants. He quit his job in an Indiana manufacturing plant, said good-bye to his family, and set out alone to walk to the Gulf of Mexico, sketching tropical plants along the way. He kept a journal of this thousand-mile walk and near the end of his life, now famous as a conservation warrior and literary celebrity, sent a typescript of it to his publisher. The result is a wonderful portrait of a young man in search of himself and a particularly vivid portrait of the post-war American South. Here is the young Muir talking with freed slaves and former Confederate soldiers, pondering the uses of electricity, exploring Mammoth Cave, sleeping in a Savannah cemetery, delirious with malarial fever in the home of strangers at Cedar Key, traveling to Havana, Cuba, and sailing to San Francisco Bay. Once in California, Muir promptly set out for Yosemite Valley -- 200 miles away. There Muir found his destiny -- and a mountain range to test his apparently inexhaustible capacity for walking.