Phoenixiana. 2 Vols.

Chicago: The Caxton Club, 1897. 2 volumes. Frontis, xxxiii, 123; frontis, viii, 119pp, 12 pages of illustrations some in color. Cloth, TEG, no dj's. Spines sunned, small bookplate on front pastedowns, else clean and very good. 12mo. One of 165 copies published by the Caxton Club, printed by the Lakeside Press. Derby (1823-1861) was an officer in the Corps of Topographical Engineers who conducted several important western surveys. For fun he played practical jokes and wrote humorous essays that he published in San Francisco newspapers and in two books. His was the first appearance of rough hewn "western humor" that can be traced through Mark Twain, Will Rogers, and probably Garrison Keillor. (Even if Keillor doesn't know it; when we met him he claimed no knowledge of Derby's writing.) I can find no edition of Derby more recent than 1937, which is too bad - some of his stuff is still laugh-out-loud funny. Item #17615

Price: $125.00

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