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Welcome to Horace Vernet" in Harper's Weekly (March 21, 1857)

Vernet, Horace)

Published by Harper's Weekly, New York
Condition: Near Fine Soft cover
From Clayton Fine Books (Shepherdstown, WV, U.S.A.)

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Volume 1, No. 12. Complete and original disbound issue in near fine condition with light wrinkling to spine, looks remarkably nearly new Most interesting is a lengthy article about the French artist Horace Vernet, "who has been invited to paint our national pictures in our national capitol." Includes a portrait of Vernet himself. Also of note, an article asks "Are We As Great A Country As We Think We Are?" The front-page story was inspired by a recent War Department report entitled "Explorations in the Dacota Country in the Year 1855, by Lieutenant G. K. Warren, Topographical Engineer of the Sioux Expedition." Basically, the article presents an unflattering but admittedly intriguing description of the Nebraska Territory, especially the "Bad Lands," where "'the scenery is silent, desolate, and depressing to the spirtis.' We have no idea of such land in this part of this world." Warren makes an interesting recommendation: "'the Territory is occupied by powerful tribes of roving savages, and is only adapted to a mode of life such as theirs, and it must long remain an Indian country.'" The article paints a dismal picture of the territory, one that certainly contradicts the still persistent image of the romantic West held around the world. Another interesting article, "Washington" (front page) describes the city of Washington as "full of the most violent and preposterous contradictions," in particular, power and intelligence (its "two deities") as well as ignorant, vulgar, and barbaric. But "the chief curse of Washington, its most detestable abomination, is that of office-seeking; and of this it is difficult to say where it is more pernicious to the giver or to the asker." Also discussed is the "unhealthy" physical environment of the low grounds on which most of it is built: "in fact the whole city should have been placed on the high ground back of the present city, and not on the low level of the Potomac." Also interesting is a full paragraph abouyt "Mr. Hawthorne Robbed" (p. 183), that is, Nathaniel Hawthorne while living in Liverpool. It also mentions Hawthorne's plans to travel in Europe before returning home. Also, rather negative review of Charles Kingsley's novel, "Two Years Ago," recently published in America, although at the end the reviewer admits he could not put the book down, once he started reading it. Also, "A Ranger's Life in Nicaragua: A Personal Narrative" (pp. 188-189) and a travel article, "A Cruise to the Somers Islands" with ten illustrations of its people, places and customs, including one of a girl's legs with one leg suffering from elephantiasis. Bookseller Inventory # b20354

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Welcome to Horace Vernet" in Harper's Weekly...

Publisher: Harper's Weekly, New York

Binding: Disbound

Book Condition:Near Fine

Edition: First Edition.

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