[William Cullen Bryant, editor]. Picturesque America; or, the Land We Live In. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1872, 1874.

    Two folio volumes. viii, 568; vi, 576 pages. Ninety-nine steel-engraved plates. Numerous wood engravings.

    Three-quarter calf and buckram over beveled boards. Gilt-stamped lettering to front boards. Gilt lettering to spines. Raised bands. All edges gilt. Light foxing. Some dampstaining to the lower corner of the pages, not affecting text block or illustrated images. Bumping to corners. Mild shelf-wear. Overall, in very good condition.

    This massive set is most remarkable for the steel engravings after the drawings of chief artist, Harry Fenn. "The Picturesque America had its origin in Mr. Fenn's overhearing an Englishman sneeringly say that the scenery of America had nothing picturesque about it. Mr. Fenn remarked in the hearing of the heads of the house, 'If they will make it worth my while, we will show the young man if there is anything picturesque in America.' Nothing more was said about the subject until several months had elapsed, and Mr. Fenn had forgotten about the incident, when he received a letter from the Appletons, asking him to come over and talk to them about that suggestion he had made. The interview resulted in the inception of that magnificent publication" (The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, p 368).

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