Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sets of Geography

You may think sets of books boring.  Indeed, in a moment of twitter feeds, status updates and multimedia multitasking, the sustained concentration that is required to absorb a set of books may seem unimaginable.  In fact, I consigned my sets to the bottom shelves, obscured by bric-a-brac.   I've rediscovered them in here.  The theme--foreign lands of mystery and intrigue.  

1.  John L. Stoddard's Lectures: Illustrated and Embellished with Views of the World's Famous Places and People, Being the Identical Discourses Delivered During the Past Eighteen Years Under the Title of the Stoddard Lectures 10 Volumes (1903).  Travel narratives of Europe, Japan, China, the Middle East and the American West.  Illustrated with black and white photographs and sketches.  I bought online at the height of my travelogue mania.  Beautiful as works of art with their red leather binding and marbled boards. 

2.  The Burton Holmes Lectures with Illustrations from Photographs by the Author in ten volumes (1901).  Elias Burton Holmes was a junior partner and later rival to John Stoddard.  He traveled the world and documented his adventures in his books, lectures and even early films.  Bought used but can't remember where--still during my travelogue mania.  Pictures and sketches.  

3.  Lands and People, The Grollier Society, Seven Volumes  (1951).  The Grollier Society was an educational publisher that issued a seven volume series of the world with black and white and color pictures.  Beautiful heavy stock paper and sturdy bindings.  The way a book should feel.  Bought used at the State Department book store.

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