AE Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2013 Issue

Literary Firsts and Other Meritorious Books from Whitmore Rare Books

Laughingphilosopher

Walt Whitman's big smile.

Item 44 comes from an important American environmentalist better known for some of his other roles, such as President of the United States. That would come later in life. In the 1880s, Theodore Roosevelt spent time on a ranch in the Dakota Badlands. He wrote about his experiences for a magazine, which were later published in this book: Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail, published in 1888. Roosevelt was actually described as “President” even then, “President of the Boone and Crockett Club of New York.” Roosevelt describes herding, hunting, and everyday activities on the ranch. He also describes the capture of three outlaws and his guarding them for 40 hours with no sleep as they were taken to trial. This book is illustrated by the great western artist Frederick Remington, the first major work he illustrated. $1,950.

Item 61 is an original print of perhaps the most notable of all photographs of Walt Whitman. It was taken by George C. Cox in 1887, when Whitman was 67 years old. He doesn't look so young. Whitman has a full white beard, mustache and bushy sideburns. Santa only wished he looked like this. With his hat, there isn't all that much of Whitman visible, save a nose, cheeks and eyes. Whitman called this his “laughing philosopher” picture. It could as well have been called “crying philosopher,” “puzzled philosopher” or anything else. His expression is hidden beneath all of the facial hair. Perhaps his eyes are laughing. When Whitman sat down before Cox's lens that day, he didn't pose. He just spun back and force in his swivel chair while Cox took shots. Whitman was particularly pleased with this image, as well he should have been. It is impressive. The photo is up there in the corner of this article. $10,000.

Whitmore Rare Books may be reached at 626-297-7700 or info@whitmorerarebooks.com. Their website is www.WhitmoreRareBooks.com.  

AE Monthly


Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions