7 - 8 April 2004
NORTH AMERICA 1860
BURTON, Richard Francis. The City of the Saints and Across the Rocky Mountains to California. London: Longman, Green, 1861.
8° (232 x 153mm). 3 maps on 1 folding plate, a folding plan and 8 wood-engraved plates with protective tissues. Original bright green blind-stamped cloth gilt, cover gilt-illustrated, (inner hinges repaired, spine strengthened). Provenance: Nicholas, Cardinal Wiseman. Inscribed on front endpaper 'To his Eminence Cardinal Wiseman with the respectful aff'n of his devoted servant R.F. Burton.'
FIRST EDITION PRESENTATION COPY FROM THE AUTHOR, inscribed by Isabel Burton in his absence. Burton's American adventure began on a whim; he was weary of the 'nimglow gorgeousness of the East,' the 'monotonous savagery' of Africa and his ongoing feud with Speke. He produced this objective account of the West although he admitted to 'a tendency to look upon things generally in their ludicrous of absurd aspects,' but reviewers were severely critical of his liberal views on Mormonism and polygamy. Perhaps embarrassed at having left his intended bride so abruptly, Burton had Isabel inscribe a copy of his impromptu journey to Cardinal Wiseman, a close friend of the Arundell family. At Isabel's urging he had furnished Burton with letters just prior to his expedition to 'The Lake Regions' commending him to the Catholic missions in whatever remote region he might travel. Wiseman was due to perform their marriage ceremony in January 1861 but became ill; nevertheless he extracted a promise from Burton that Isabel be allowed to practice her faith freely. Penzer p. 68-69. Casada 28. Spink 23.
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