“SCORNING WITH THE FIERCE PRIDE OF INDEPENDENCE THE SWEETS OF CIVILIZATION”
IRVING, Washington. The Crayon Miscellany… No. 1. Containing a Tour on the Prairies. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea, & Blanchard, 1835. 12mo, original green cloth, facsimile of original printed paper spine label laid down. $600.
First American edition, published one month after the London first edition.
In 1832 Irving joined the party of Indian Commissioner Henry L. Ellsworth on his expedition to the land of the Osages and Pawnees. "Everything relating to aboriginal life or manners, had an attraction for Washington Irving which he could not resist. The hardy fur-trapper, with his trusty rifle, and his dusky bride, scorning with the fierce pride of independence the sweets of civilization; the wild warrior of the plains, in his swift foray on the herds of the civilized intruders on his domains, or in the bloody invasion of a neighboring tribe, all had for the author a warm coloring which he loved to paint. It is of such scenes, blended with the softer traditions of Indian lore, and the dreams of the better land, this book is composed. Irving eagerly seized the opportunity offered by a government mission to the Pawnees, of observing for himself the peculiarities of a savage race; and of what he saw he has made the most charming picture ever painted of its life" (Field, 186). The narrator of Irving's work, Geoffrey Crayon, was already familiar to readers as an unabashed Anglophile and Hispanophile. This first volume of the Crayon Miscellany amends Crayon's personality to that of "an amiably resolute affirmer of his own new nation with its special scenes, attributes, and local variations. A Tour portrays the interaction between this well known literary personality and certain American scenes he has not previously explored" (Kime, Western American Literature). The two other volumes of the completed Miscellany are not related to America. With 12 pages of publisher's advertisements bound in at the rear. Howes I86. Langfeld and Blackburn, 33. Sabin 35139. Wagner-Camp 56:2. Early owner signature.
Text professionally cleaned (some evidence of foxing remains) and recased, front free endpaper renewed, cloth quite nice. A very good copy.