THE SHIRLEY LETTERS FROM CALIFORNIA MINES IN 1851-52
by Clappe, Louise Amelia Knapp Smith writing as Dame Shirley
San Francisco: Thomas C. Russell, 1922. First Edition. Hardcover. Near Fine/Near Fine. Being a Series of Twenty-Three Letters from Dame Shirley (Mrs. Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe) to her Sister in Massachusetts and now Reprinted from the Pioneer Magazine of 1854-55 with Synopses of the Letters, a Foreword, and Many Typographical and other Corrections and Emendations, by Thomas C. Russell. Together with "An Appreciation" by Mrs. M.V.T. Lawrence. Eight hand-colored line block relief prints from drawings based on old prints of life in the California Gold Fields. San Francisco: Thomas C. Russell, 1922. First edition in book form. Out of an edition of 450 copies, this is one of the 200 printed on Exeter book-paper and signed by the publisher. First published serially in "The Pioneer" magazine in 1854-55, these celebrated letters offer an insightful and vivid account of everyday life in a California mining town. Having sailed around Cape Horn to San Francisco, Clappe (1819-1906) joined her husband at Rich Bar in September 1851, and wrote a series of 23 letters between 1851 and 1852 to her sister back home in Massachusetts. Although not originally intended for publication, the letters are a carefully composed commentary upon a masculine society in which "Dame Shirley" wittily and sometimes sentimentally displays her realistic observations of a coarse and barbarous way of life. Clappe later worked as a school teacher in San Francisco, before returning to the East in 1878. From the library of California tobacco magnate Alfred I. Esberg, with his bookplate to the front pastedown. Also, laid in is a holographic letter from the publisher to Esberg, in which Russell describes in detail the variants the comprised this edition and their respective costs. Octavo. Original green paper-covered boards over a tan cloth spine, with a printed green paper spine label. The spine is a bit tanned; otherwise very good. Kurutz, G.: California Gold Rush, #133a; The Zamorano Eighty, #69.
(Inventory #: 65110)
Literature, Poetry, California and the West, Travel and Exploration, Archives and Ephemera, Heavy Metal
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