Title California in 1851. The Letters of Dame Shirley. Introduction and Notes by Carl I. Wheat.
Book Condition Collectible: Very Good
Jacket Condition Missing
Edition First Edition, thus.
Publisher San Francisco, CA: Grabhorn Press, 1933
Seller ID GG217-050
First Series: Rare Americana, Nos. 5 and 6. LIMITED EDITION of 500 copies printed by the Grabhorn Press with Centaur monotype on machine made paper. Two Volumes, complete. 8vo. 8 7/8 x 6 inches. (20), 142, ; (20), 143, [1 blank],  pp. Title-pages printed within black rules with pale blue backgrounds, a total of 25 section head illustrations also printed within a ruled border shaded in blue (these are derived from the blue letter-sheet lithographs which were extremely popular in California at the time of the Shirley Letters); text clean, unmarked. Blue cloth spine, blue printed paper over boards, printed paper spine label, LACKS the dust-jackets; binding square and tight, boards are toned and the end-papers with offsetting as is typical. Very Good. Louise Clappe was born in New Jersey, grew up in Massachusetts, and later moved out West to California with her husband, Fayette Clappe. She took the pen name Dame Shirley when she wrote her famous Dame Shirley letters, which were written between September 1851 and November 1852. The Dame Shirley letters are both witty and disturbing, due to their insight into the baser aspects California mining life. Each letter was unique and extremely rich in detail. For example, the sixth letter discusses the author's shock at how vulgar the miners were, and the wide tolerance for such vulgarity. The same letter also indicates that the author's marriage was failing, and describes his business transactions with both candor and bitterness. These letters were originally published in monthly installments in "The Pioneer; or, California Monthly Magazine," of San Francisco, from January 1854 through December 1855. REFERENCES: Heller and Magee, Bibliography of the Grabhorn Press, 1915-1940, Nos. 178 and 179; Howes, U.S.iana, No. C427; Kurutz, California Gold Rush, 133b; Zamorano 80, No. 69.
Louise Amelia Knapp Clappe, The Letters of Dame Shirley, Carl Wheat, Rare Americana, Fine Press, Limited Edition, Grabhorn Press, California Gold Rush