Travels in Alaska.
“Most people who travel look only at what they are directed to look at. Great is the power of the guidebook maker, however ignorant": First Edition of John Muir's Travels in Alaska; From the Library of Moorfield Storey
Travels in Alaska.
Item Number: 114508
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1915.
First edition of this classic work by Muir. Octavo, original grey cloth lettered in white, color illustrated paper cover label, top edge gilt. Illustrated with several plates from photographs, including frontispiece with tissue-guard. From the library of Moorfield Storey, with his bookplate to the front pastedown. Story was a lawyer, anti-imperial activist, and civil rights leader based in Boston, Massachusetts. According to Storey’s biographer, William B. Hixson, Jr., he had a worldview that embodied “pacifism, anti-imperialism, and racial egalitarianism fully as much as it did laissez-faire and moral tone in government.” Storey served as the founding president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serving from 1909 to his death in 1929. In near fine condition. An exceptional example with noted provenance.
Travels in Alaska, by John Muir, reflects Muir's exuberance for life and almost everything he encountered in his many travels. In addition to being an ecologist and traveler, John Muir was a botanist and geologist, a fact which readers will be reminded of through his contemplations of the southeast Africa flora and the activity of glaciers. Travels in Alaska is John Muir's journal of his 1879, 1880, and 1890 trips to southeast Alaska's glaciers, rivers, and temperate rain forests. For Muir, the wilderness was a medicine or spiritual tonic. Physical impediments and frailties faded into the background when he was alone in the wilderness. Much of "Travels in Alaska" is given to glaciers, including their descriptions, their influence on the landscape, their geological record, the discovery of new glaciers, and other characteristics of these moving rivers of ice. When describing glaciers, John Muir offers descriptive powers unequaled among authors on nature, Time and space almost have no medium in this publication, utterly lost when gazing upon a glacier.