Picturesque America or the Land We Live In; a Delineation by Pen and Pencil of the Mountains, Rivers, Lakes, Forests, Water-Falls, Shores, Canyons, Valleys, Cities, and Other Picturesque Features of Our Country. With Illustrations on Steel and Wood by Eminent American Artists.
Hardcover, New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1874. First Edition. Quarto, pp. Viii, 568, vi, 576. Two Quarto volumes bound in publisher's half morocco with marbled endpapers and page edges. Moderate wear to bindings, heaviest at corners. Most steel cut plates are missing their tissue guards, and some facing pages have light offsetting. 49 full page steel engravings, 900 woodcuts most of which are in text, but a few are full page. Picturesque America was edited by the romantic poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant. The publisher recruited 20 of America's finest illustrators, and Bryant ensured the text was correct and sound. Picturesque America was finished 9 years after the end of the American Civil War. It presented a united America and contained illustrations of natural and human-made wonders from all parts of the country – north, south, east, west, and central. The book is credited with causing a boom in tourism as Americans became interested in their own country and its incredible sights. The fledgeling American conservation and historic preservation movements were given a huge boost by the popularity of Picturesque America. An illustration of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky is one of the steel engravings in this set. If you go there today, you can see the formation named Gothic Avenue. Look up while you're there, and you'll see the ceiling is covered in people's signatures from the 19th Century – a legacy of the tourist boom created by this very book. Oversize and heavy books not subject to our normal shipping rates - please contact us for a custom shipping quote prior to ordering. ; 4to 11" - 13" tall; 1144 pages. [Item #77390]