Two Years Before The Mast. A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea - Richard Henry Dana Jr., Edw. W. Wilson (illustrator) 1930 - The Lakeside Press, Chicago - Limited edition of 1, 000 copies ‘Dana had to withdraw from Harvard when measles weakened his eyesight; in order to regain his health; he shipped to California as a sailor in 1834. His book has become a classic account of the life and adventures of an ordinary seaman in the American merchant service, as well as the best account of the hide and tallow trade in California.’ Together with its clear picture of California in the years prior to the influx of American settlers in the 1840’s, Two Years Before The Mast is considered invaluable for its descriptions of San Diego, Santa Barbara and Monterey. ‘Dana later became U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts, was nominated to the Court of Saint James, and legally represented any negroes arrested in Boston pro-bono.’

A superb, and unopened copy. Designed by Alfred deSauty with stunning illustrations and cloth binding with gilt motifs designed by Edw. A. Wilson who was also provided the thirty seven coloured plates and in text illustrations.
  ‘If not the most widely read book on California, certainly ranks extremely high on such a list. The author sailed up and down the California coast trading for hides from January, 1835, until May, 1836. He possessed not only extraordinarily keen powers of observation but a fine facility for expressing his ideas in writing, which make this volume an excellent and very readable record of his experiences. It has gone through many editions and has been translated into several foreign languages. In 1869 the author bought out an edition with added material including an account of a second visit to California twenty-four years after his first." Herd 642: "The book contains much material on the hide and tallow industry of California, which was the reason for the cattle industry of that state in its early years.’

‘This classic of American literature contains the best account of the early hide trade of California. Cattle were plentiful in California in this period, but there was no market for the surplus of beef. Hence, the industry revolved around the hide and tallow trade.’

References: Cowan 156. Dobie 101. Howes D49. Merrill's Aristocrats. Six Score 28. Hill 78. Grolier 100. Zamorano 80 26.

Octavo (18 x 24.5 cm). pp. [4] ix [1] 524 [6]. Publisher’s cream buckram over blue cloth, gilt decorative motifs and block of a ship to upper cover, gilt lettering to spine, top edge gilt. Housed in publisher’s slipcase, with gilt-stamped green spine label.
  Condition: Fine, with the exception of minor toning to spine, contents unopened, in very good slipcase, with toning and some rubbing to corners.   Ref: 108698   Price: HK$ 2,200