(#166365) On the Wing. Rambling notes of a trip to the Pacific. By Mary E. Blake [M. E. B.]. MARY ELIZABETH McGRATH BLAKE.

On the Wing. Rambling notes of a trip to the Pacific. By Mary E. Blake [M. E. B.]. Boston: Lee and Shepard, Publishers, 1883. 16x11 cm, pp. [1-8] [1] 2-235 [236: blank] [237-240: ads], flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated gray green cloth, front and spine panels stamped in brown and gold, all edges stained red, white floral patterned endpapers printed in gold. First edition. Description of a trip to the Pacific Coast, with side trips along the way, conducted by, or made through, the Raymond & Whitcomb Travel Agency of Boston. (Susie Clark, author of The round trip from the Hub to the Golden Gate [Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1890] used this agency too.) Her colorful, detailed narrative of the trip to Yosemite and the sights seen there comprises, pp. [99]-134. Mary Elizabeth Blake (1840-1907), Irish-born American poet, "the mother of eleven children to whom she was thoroughly attentive [of her six children who reached maturity, she sent five sons to Harvard and one daughter to Radcliffe], but her maternal duties did not check either the steady flow of verse which 'welled from her heart spontaneously' (Conway, 'M. E. Blake,' p. xiii), or the 'Rambling Talks' which she contributed regularly for many years to the Boston Journal ... From time to time she published collections of her poetry ... Her writing was so esteemed in the Boston of her time that she was invited by the city to prepare memorials for Wendell Phillips and other celebrities. But the artistic value of her work is not commensurate with her reputation" (DAB). Cowan (1933), p. 56. Provenance: a wonderful association copy with later (1897) signed inscriptions by Blake and her husband to a Mr. Bridgman who was a companion on the trip. Mr. Bridgman has annotated the narrative throughout with supplemental notes and asides. Bridgman inscribed the book to his daughter, "To my daughter Annie, / whose loving devotion made / it possible for her / father to cross the / Continent 'On the Wing' / in May & June 1882 / in this Souvenir of / never -- to -- be forgotten / days presented March 6/83." The book ended up in the Forbes Library, Northampton, Massachusetts, as part of the "Autographed Collection," gift of Clifford H. Lyman, 1927. Lyman bookplate on the front paste-down, library slip and pocket on the rear endpapers. Cloth lightly worn at spine ends and corner tips, a very good copy. (#166365).

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