THE WONDERS OF THE COLORADO DESERT (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA): ITS RIVERS AND ITS MOUNTAINS, ITS CANYONS AND ITS SPRINGS, ITS LIFE AND ITS HISTORY, PICTURED AND DESCRIBED, INCLUDING AN ACCOUNT OF A RECENT JOURNEY MADE DOWN THE OVERFLOW OF THE COLORADO RIVER TO THE MYSTERIOUS SALTON SEA ... With Upwards of Three Hundred Pen-and-Ink Sketches from Nature, by Carl Eytel. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1906. 21.8x14 cm (octavo), two volumes: pp. [i-vi] vii [viii] ix [x] xi [xii] xiii-xliv 1-270; [i-iv] v-vii [viii] ix-xiv 271-547 [548: blank] [549-550: ads], inserted plates (including color frontispiece in volume one), numerous illustrations in the text from drawings by Carl Eytel, maps (including a large folded map in volume one), original two-part gray and blue cloth, front and spine panels stamped in gold, t.e.g., bottom edges rough trimmed. First edition. George Wharton James (1858-1923) "is best remembered for THE WONDERS OF THE COLORADO DESERT. In its two volumes and 39 chapters, James covers every aspect of the desert. With his eye for detail, James presents elegant word pictures of the desert from the San Bernadino range to the Mexican border and from the Santa Rosa Mountains to the Colorado River. His writing is accompanied by 337 pen-and-ink sketches by Carl Eytel, and James himself acknowledges that these drawings are as important in presenting the desert as the text itself. Since the appearance of this book, with the exception of J. Smeaton Chase's CALIFORNIA DESERT TRAILS (1919) there have been few other major works on the desert. The reason? James covered all the territory and there has been very little new material to work with" (Donohoo). This book "remains -- after all these years -- the classic and definitive account of the Colorado desert. Here is a closely integrated presentation of the desert's history, its inhabitants, its plant and animal life, its physical characteristics, its every imaginable facet of interest. In the quantity of its realistic approach to the subjects covered, in the appeal of its versatility, and the extensiveness of its scope, James' superlative effort stands majestically alone. No other item on the Colorado Desert, with the possible exception of J. Smeaton Chase's CALIFORNIA DESERT TRAILS (1919), can even remotely approach it. Carl Eytel's sketches contribute measurably to the book's appeal. There are, significantly, 337 of these remarkably accurate desert illustrations, which lend effectiveness to the work and vitalize its content ... Fortunate indeed is the present-day writer who finds, in the Colorado Desert, one stone unturned, one pathway untrodden, one sunset unrecorded, one mystery unexplored, one venture unattempted. It is all there -- all minutely observed and all eloquently detailed by the incomparable James" (Edwards). "... James at his best. George Wharton James was to the deserts what John Muir was to the mountains of California. James lived in the deserts; he explored them; he studied them; and he wrote about them with the passion of an adolescent in love. Two volumes, thirty-nine chapters, and 547 pages he lavished on the desert closest to his home and his heart" (Larson). "The best starting point for any study of the Colorado Desert ... The illustrations, both those from sketches and those from photographs, are of considerable historical importance, as are the chapters relating to the Salton Sea" (Farquhar). William G. Donohoo, Zamorano Select (2010) 52. Edwards, The Enduring Desert, p. 131. Farquhar, The Books of the Colorado River & the Grand Canyon 85. Larson, Controversial James, pp. 49-51. Powell, California Classics 5. Howes J44. Not in Cowan (1933). Touch of wear to lower spine end of volume one, corner tips rubbed, a nearly fine copy. A lovely copy. (#165964).
"Published December, 1906" on copyright pages.