WILLIAM CULLEN, ed.
COMPREHENSIVE CELEBRATION OF THE ENTIRE CONTINENTAL NATION”
“It is the design of the publication entitled ‘PICTURESQUE AMERICA’
to present full descriptions and elaborate pictorial delineations of the
scenery characteristic of all the different parts of our country. The
wealth of material for this purpose is almost boundless..."
FIRST BOOK EDITION, in deluxe publisher’s full morocco
binding, of the most famous and influential early pictorial
representation of the United States. Beautifully illustrated with over
900 wood engravings and fifty steel engravings.
"Picturesque America was a conspicuous
presence in the popular culture of the United States in the post-Civil
War years. First published as a magazine series in Appletons'
Journal, then as a subscription book, in parts, from 1872 to 1874,
it reached a huge audience. It's voluminous text and over 900 pictures
represented the first comprehensive celebration of the entire
continental nation... Picturesque America is one of the most
important sources for understanding how Americans thought about
themselves, their landscape, and the rest of the world in the decade
following the Civil War....
"Picturesque America achieved unprecedented
success... Its visual richness—more than nine hundred wood engravings
and fifty steel engravings—accounted for much of its appeal in an age
hungry for images. As recently as the 1870's, many parts of the United
States were known to most Americans only from verbal reports, if at
all... [Through the engravings] many Americans were seeing for the first
time what they had only abstractly imagined as their country” (Rainey,
Creating Picturesque America).
New York: D. Appleton, (1872-74). Two volumes. Thick
folio, original publisher’s deluxe full blind-tooled morocco gilt.
A hint of rubbing to bindings. Exceptionally fine copies, scarce in this condition.