"TO MY FRIEND AND FELLOW 'ROSE-GROWER'": FIRST EDITION OF THE WOLVES OF NORTH AMERICA, ONE OF 100 COPIES SPECIALLY BOUND IN BUFFALO HIDE, 1944, INSCRIBED BY STANLEY P. YOUNG TO FAMOUS GOVERNMENT ARCHITECT AND LANDSCAPE DESIGNER HORACE PEASLEE
YOUNG, Stanley P. and GOLDMAN, Edward A. The Wolves of North America. Washington: American Wildlife Institute, 1944. Octavo, original three-quarter buffalo, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and covers. $1850.
Limited first edition of this comprehensive mid-century work on American wolves, delving into classification, history, and pack behavior, one of only 100 copies specially bound in buffalo-gilt, richly illustrated with dozens of color illustrated plates and photographic plates of wolves in nature, inscribed by one of the authors to a famous civic architect and landscape designer: "To my friend and fellow 'rose-grower' with very good wish—Horace W. Peaslee from Stanley P. Young. Washington, D.C. Feb. 6th, 1953."
The Wolves of North America is divided into two parts: Part I, entitled "[Wolves] Their History, Life Habits, Economic Status, and Control," was written by Stanley Young of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, while Part II, "Classification of Wolves," was written by his co-author, Edward Goldman of the Division of Wildlife Research at the Department of the Interior. "The book is notable, not only as the outstanding contemporary treatise on an outstanding animal, but as a mirror which reflects the thought of our generation on a wide gamut of conservation problems… Viewed as a history, the work is a masterly job. It assembles an exhaustive array of interesting quotations on the age-old rivalry between men and wolves as predators on the world's livestock and big-game herds… Viewed as literature, this book has much to commend it. Its style is simple, direct, sometimes fluent, never burdened with that curse of modern biology: 'scientific' English" (Leopold, 320-22). The binding of this volume is exceptional; this is one of only 100 copies bound in buffalo-gilt. A slip, tipped onto the front free endpaper, reads: "The binding of this volume is of buffalo leather from buffalo killed in southwestern Oklahoma. It is all hand-tooled, the work of one of our few remaining Pennsylvania Dutch book binders. But one hundred copies of this monograph was [sic] made up at the time of its initial printing, the remainder were bound in morroco [sic]. The latter has been sold throughout all of North America, and is also now to be found in many of the libraries in Europe, Asia, and the Far East." This copy is inscribed to Horace W. Peaslee, an architect and landscape designer who designed Meridian Hill Park in Washington, D.C., the Korean and Peruvian embassies in Washington, and the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington. Peaslee was also an occasional government official, serving as secretary of the Central Housing Commission from 1935 to 1943 and architect for the Public Buildings Administration from 1938 to 1942. Biographical sheets on the authors tipped onto the pastedowns. Binder's ticket.
Interior generally quite clean, only light rubbing to buffalo binding, gilt quite bright. A near-fine inscribed copy with interesting provenance.