Alexandra Gripenberg's a half year in the new world miscellaneous sketches of travel in the United States (1888) translated and edited by Ernest J. Moyne. ALEXANDRA GRIPENBERG.

Alexandra Gripenberg's a half year in the new world miscellaneous sketches of travel in the United States (1888) translated and edited by Ernest J. Moyne. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press, 1954. 22.8x15.1 cm, pp. [i-iv] v-xi [xii] xiii [xiv] xv [xvi] 1-225 [226-228: blank], inserted frontispiece (photographic portrait of Gripenberg), original gray cloth, spine panel stamped in blue, all edges stained blue gray, blue endpapers. First edition in English. Issued as "University of Delaware Monograph Series," number IV. Baroness Alexandra Gripenberg (1857-1913) was a Finnish author, editor and newspaper publisher, whose "experiences abroad convinced her of the social significance of the woman suffrage movement and she became one of the foremost exponents of woman's rights in the world ... In 1888 Alexandra Gripenberg was a delegate to the international women's congress in Washington, D. C., and afterward she traveled extensively through the United States. She was particularly impressed by the vastness of America ... Realizing that six months were not enough to give her more than a superficial insight into American conditions, in writing her account of the country ... she made the book ... a collection of random reminiscences ... [Her] account ranks with Peter Kalm's Travels in North America and Fredrika Bremer's The Homes of the New World as one of the most important travel books on America written by a Northern European. In it she recorded for posterity the United States of 1888 as Peter Kalm and Fredrika Bremer had earlier recorded the America of 1750 and 1850. Although her first concern was woman's rights, her interests were as varied as those of her predecessors. She visited the most important cities in the United States, and saw many of the country's scenic wonders, such as Niagara Falls, Yosemite Valley, and the Great Salt Lake ... Practically nothing escaped her view, whether the domestic arts or the national characteristics of the American people ... [The book] is not without its faults ... On the whole, however, A Half Year in the New World is accurate and objective" (translator's preface, pp. vi-viii). In the summer of 1888 Baroness Gripenberg spent three days in Yosemite Valley and visited the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees on her return trip. Her description of the trip, pages 168-174, is brief but perceptive and lively. "In translating Alexandra Gripenberg's account of her travels in the United States into English, I have used both the Swedish and Finnish editions of her work: Ett halfår i Nya Verlden: Strödda resebilder från Förenta Staterna, af Alexandra Gripenberg (Helsingfors: G. W. Edlunds förlag, 1889); and Uudesta maailmasta: Hajanaisia matkakuvia Ameriikasta, translated into Finnish by Hilda Asp (Helsinki: G. W. Edlund'in kustantama, 1891). I have not omitted anything from the original account, and I have included certain interesting and informative footnotes which appear only in the Finnish translation ... My aim in translating was to be literally accurate; at the same time, I have tried to convey, so far as possible, an impression of Baroness Gripenberg's style, which is generally straightforward and clear" (translator's preface, p. x). For more about this book see Sarah McLennan, "They've All Come to Look for America: The Construction of Self and Nation in Women's Travel Narratives 1870-1890," unpublished master's thesis, 2004. A very good copy. (#166393).

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