California. The Land of the Sun

AUSTIN, Mary (author). Sutton PALMER (illustrator). California. The Land of the Sun.

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AUSTIN, Mary (author). Sutton PALMER (illustrator). California. The Land of the Sun. London, Adam and Charles Black, 1914.

Large 8vo.; publisher's sage-green cloth beautifully and pictorially blocked in a range of colours to a landscape design by Albert Angus Turbayne to upper board, and signed with his scarab, spine panelled and decorated in colours, lettered gilt, top edges gilt; pp. viii, [1]-178 + [2], adverts.; with 32 fine coloured plates mounted-at-large and a tipped-in folding map of the State at the rear, printed in sepia; an uncommonly bright and attractive copy with small bruising to spine ends and top forecorner of upper board, internally fresh throughout with all plates fine and a previous owner's armorial bookplate to inner upper cover.
First edition. One of the most successful and resonant of all A. & C. Black cover designs. The Californian Mary Hunter Austin immersed herself in landscape and in Native American mythology, whilst propagating progressive causes, such as feminism and socialism. 'Austin’s best writing, which is concerned with nature or Native American life, is reminiscent of the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson and John Muir in its transcendental tone and occasional primitivist leaning. She was active in movements to preserve Native American arts, crafts, and culture' (Encyclopaedia Britannica).
A & C Black’s Twenty Shilling Series of colour plate books, published from 1901 onwards, brought the world into the home at a time when travel, especially overseas, was much more difficult than it is today. For the first time books containing large numbers of colour plates – up to 100 per volume – were made available to the public at an affordable price.’ Inman, A & C Black Colour Books 649.