Artful Deeds in the Life of the Felon, Grovenor Layton: A Tale of the California Gold Rush
by Richard H. Dillon, Introduction
San Francisco:: Book Club of California,, 1998. First Edition, thus. Hardcover. Like New. Series: Book Club of California Publication, No. 208. LIMITED EDITION of 350 copies designed, composed and printed letterpress by Peter Koch, with the assistance of Richard Seibert, bound by Cardoza-James Bookbinding Company. Tall 8vo. 10 3/4 x 7 1/4 inches. [iv], 71,  pp. Title-page and chapter initials printed in brick-red ink, title-page vignette, 4 woodcut illustrations and a map from the original edition of 1853 in the text; text clean, un-marked. Quarter dark-red imported Japanese cloth, map printed on orange paper covers the boards, printed paper spine label; binding square and tight. Comes in the original slip case with the prospectus and a photographically illustrated post card. Bob Cates' copy. Fine. This is the first time the text of this "excessively rare" (David Magee) volume has been printed since it appeared in 1853. This book is one of many books written in the 1850s that purported to be true accounts of the Gold Rush, but were, in fact, fictitious. "Among the most authentic-seeming was the tale of Grovenor Layton, originally published in 1852. Layton was probably the pseudonym of the publisher A. R. Orton, but no trace of a Layton or Orton can be found in either Western history books or American literary biographies. The convincing, but false, story of Layton's career of robbery, murder, and arson ends with his lynching in Sonora, California." REFERENCE: A Bibliography of the Books Published by the Book Club of California, 1993-2009, No. 208. (Inventory #: GY815-133)
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