The Wonders of the Colorado Desert (Southern California) Its Rivers and its Mountains, its Canyons and its Springs, its LIfe an
by James, George Wharton
Little, Brown, and Compant,
First edition. Two volumes. xliv, 270pp, illus, folding map; xiv, 271-547pp, illus. Some external wear and soil, spines faded, hinges starting, overall a very good set. The extended title continues, "Including an Account of a Recent Journey made down the Overflow of the Colorado River to the Mysterious Salton Sea." James (1858-1923) was an indefatigable self-promoter, observer, and writer, having penned some 40 books and innumerable articles and pamphlets many on the American Southwest. His writing leans toward romanticism, and enthusiasm for natural environments, idealization of aboriginal lifeways, and health faddism. The "mysterious" Salton Sea of the title was caused by the Colorado River breaching an Imperial Valley dike in 1905 after a year of heavy rainfall and snowmelt. It took two years to restore the rivers' previous channel and was thus still filling when James visited. Farquhar says of the account, "The best starting point for any study of he Colorado Desert, which paradoxically is closely associated with the River. The illustrations, both those from sketches and those from photographs, are of considerable historical importance, as are the chapters relating to the Salton Sea." Farquhar The Books of the Colorado River & Grand Canyon 85, Howes J44.
Book Id: 23820