“THE STREAM OF HEATHEN MEN AND WOMEN STILL COMES POURING IN”: RARE FIRST EDITION OF ATWELL WHITNEY’S ALMOND-EYED, 1878, IN SCARCE ORIGINAL WRAPPERS
WHITNEY, Atwell. Almond-Eyed. A Story of the Day. [San Francisco]: A.L. Bancroft, 1878. 12mo, stitched as issued, original pictorial gray paper wrappers. Housed in a custom half cloth chemise and half cloth slipcase. $850.
Rare first edition of this first novel to warn about the so-called “Yellow Peril,” with frontispiece and 16 illustrated plates, in scarce original pictorial wrappers.
“Nearly a century before the publication of Jean Raspail’s Camp of the Saints, and almost two decades before America and Europe were gripped by that general anxiety at rising East Asian power known as the ‘Yellow Peril,’ several fictional depictions of Chinese invaders, either as swarming immigrants displacing American workers, or as conquering armies, or both, warned Americans to reform their immigration laws and build up their military defenses—or face defeat and dispossession in North America… The earliest of them is Atwell Whitney’s Almond-Eyed: The Great Agitator: A Story of the Day” (Kevin Jenks). Directed at a female Christian audience and seated firmly in the Victorian moralist tradition, the story condemns violence against individual immigrants at the same time it melodramatically warns of the dangers of immigration and the rampant sin that will inevitably result from the arrival of the non-Christian hoards.
Only minor offsetting to text, light wear to unusually nice original wrappers. Near-fine condition. Rare.