|Mary Hunter Austen — The Land of Little Rain|
|The Land of Little Rain
Published: Boston and New York 1903
4to., (8 4/8 x 6 2/8 inches). Half-title, vignettetitle-page. Frontispiece and 2 plates, numerous marginal illustrations in thetext by E. Boyd Smith , andEXTRA-ILLUSTRATED THROUGHOUT WITH 77 ORIGINAL WATERCOLOUR DRAWINGS OF WILDFLOWERS FOUND IN REDLANDS AND YOSEMITE by "Lucy". Originalpublisher's olive pictorial cloth gilt, top edges gilt, others uncut.
Provenance: inscribed on the front free endpaper: "AuntHattie with love from Lucy. Christmas - 1904", and with manuscript indexnaming the watercolour drawings at end; with the bookplate of James S. Copley on the front paste-down, his sale,Sotheby's New York"Magnificent American, Historical Documents", 10th May 2011, lot1059.
First edition, and a BEAUTIFULCOPY, illustrated throughout in the margins and as background to the text, andoccasionally as full-page illustrations, with FINE WATERCOLOUR DRAWINGS OFCALIFORNIAN WILD-FLOWERS, found by the artist at Redlands,near San BernardinoNational Park, and the Yosemite. The artist has included a comprehensive indexnaming the flowers and their location in the wild, and in the text.
An early campaigner for preserving the natural landscape andculture of the American Southwest, and the early years of her disastrousmarriage, in which she and her husband lived in a number of small desert towns,provided the background for this her first book, "The Land of LittleRain". Essentially a collection of fourteen sketches about the naturalworld of the desert and the people and beliefs it nurtured. "Thesecharming sketches of the desert and semi-desert country comprising the OwensValley and the approaches to the great sink of Death Valley have becomepractically a classic"- Zamorano Eighty 2.
From the distinguished library of James S. Copley,"While institutional in scope andsignificance, the manuscripts and books in the Library clearly reflect thediscernment of a passionate collector and equally passionate patriot. Thebirth, survival, and expansion of the United States is brilliantlydocumented in the writings of the men and women who
founded and protected our nation. It would be wrong to thinkof the Copley Library as exclusively American, however. As a reader and anewspaperman, Mr. Copley had wide and eclectic interests, which also providedthemes for the collection. Letters and manuscripts from authors, scientists,and musicians as diverse as Charlotte Brontė,Albert Einstein, and Tchaikovsky also found a place in the Library" (DavidRedden, Sotheby's).Graff 114; Howes A400; Lillian S. Robinson for ADNB.