"A FINE ACCOUNT OF AMERICA"
MARTINEAU, Harriet. Retrospect of Western Travel. London: Saunders and Otley, 1838. Three volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter green calf gilt, red morocco spine labels. $1100.
First edition of this classic of 19th-century American travel by the pioneering British journalist and writer, a more personal companion piece to her 1837 sociological study, Society in America.
"No one who wishes to form a correct and enlarged view of the character, institutions, resources, and prospects of America, should fail to peruse [this book]" (Sabin 44940). Martineau's travels took her through New York and Pennsylvania. She toured the South extensively, visiting James Madison and the University of Virginia, and observing city life and slavery in the South. The author returned via the Mississippi River and concluded her journey in Massachusetts. This work "is a fine account of America by one of the most prominent and cultured Englishwomen who visited it in the early 19th-century" (Rosenbach 32:234). Howes M348. Owner ink signature dated 1902.
A bit of foxing to blank flyleaves only, text clean. Spines gently toned, a bit of expert color restoration to extremities of contemporary calf. A handsome copy in excellent condition.