“THE SCENERY IS ENCHANTING”: FIRST EDITION OF NORDHOFF’S PENINSULAR CALIFORNIA, 1888
NORDHOFF, Charles. Peninsular California. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1888. Quarto, original gilt-stamped green cloth. $550.
First edition of this authoritative early history of northern Baja California by the grandfather of co-author of the Bounty trilogy, with 12 full-page photogravures and two maps (one double page).
When invited by a real estate investment firm to visit the Baja California peninsula in the early 1870s, prominent journalist Charles Nordoff had already “written one of the most popular and influential books on California, California: A Book for Travelers and Settlers … It described California as the proverbial “land of milk and honey… The directors of the Mexican International Company were hoping that Nordhoff’s new book, Peninsula California,… would have the same effect on Lower California’s development as his previous book had. For his efforts, the company gave Nordhoff a 50,000-acre tract of a land some 15 miles south of the port of Ensenada. Fronting the Todos Santos Bay, Rancho Ramajal became the home of three generations of Nordhoffs” (Journal of San Diego History 45:4). This first edition of Peninsula California, written by the grandfather of co-author of the Bounty trilogy, offers a well-researched history of the region and remains one of the most authoritative early works on northern Baja. Containing frontispiece and eleven full-page photogravures, along with two maps (one double-page). Six pages of advertisements at rear. As issued without dust jacket. Faint trace of owner signature.
Interior fine, minor edge-wear, rubbing to bright gilt cloth. A near-fine copy.