Zanita a tale of the Yo-Semite by Therese Yelverton Viscountess Avonmore. New York: Published by Hurd and Houghton Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1872. 19x11.8 cm, pp. [i-iii] iv  2-296, flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated cloth, front and spine panels stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in gold, brown coated endpapers. First edition. A sentimental and melodramatic novel which provided an authentic portrayal of John Muir. According to Powell (1971), p. 148: "The oddest book in the literature of these mountains and John Muir is a novel written by a wandering English noblewoman ... She arrived in the Valley soon after Muir did, and proceeded to fall in love with him. At that stage of his life, Muir's love of nature did not include women he was in his forties before he married and fathered two daughters. Unrequited love led the ardent woman to make Muir the hero of Zanita ... This rare book can be read today, when found, only by the most ardent Muiriac." Therese Yelverton (Lady Avonmore) was in Yosemite Valley from June through November 1870. During her stay she was often in the company of Muir, who acted as her guide. Because she possessed a natural gift for reporting, her book provided an accurate record of Muir's philosophy at that time. Many of the novel's scenic descriptions were copied from Muir's journals. Details of her Yosemite trip and her brush with death are reported by Mary Viola Lawrence in "Summer with a Countess," Overland Monthly, 7 (November 1871), 473-87. For an account of Therese Yelverton's Yosemite visit see Wolfe (1945), pp. 136-42 and Sanborn (1981), pp. 127-39. See Farquhar (1948), title 11. Currey and Kruska 399. Farquhar 11. Baird and Greenwood, An Annotated Bibliography of California Fiction 1664-1970 # 1555. Cloth a bit spotted, spine panel sunned, internally fine, a much better than average copy of this book. (#166215).
No statement of printing.