n.p. 1909. Softcover. A unique manuscript (5" x 8-1/2") accomplished in a decorative calligraphic style with small illustrations by Anita Helen Parkhurst of poems presumably written by the author when he was 11 years old, seven years before his first commercially published book, BLOWN LEAVES of 1916, and presented to his parents at Christmas. Bound in black limp leather held together with a leather strap in a spiral fashion and with a holograph paper title label on the front cover. The contents consist of ten leaves of stiff brown paper stapled to the binding at the gutter. The title page includes author, title, the name of the calligrapher and illustrator, the dedication to Peattie's parents, and the date of 25 December 1909. The eleven poems include the title poem, Spring and Summer, Savior, We Die, Irish Drinking Song, Moon Rise, Sorrow, Mid Night and Dawn, Pompei, The Storm, and The Ruined City. While the poems are what one might expect of an 11 year old, it is interesting to note that several are concerned with themes relating to natural history, a fitting subject for the writer who would become known to many as America's most lyrical naturalist and whose books would include AN ALMANAC FOR MODERNS, IMMORTAL VILLAGE, A BOOK OF HOURS, THE ROAD OF A NATURALIST, JOURNEY INTO AMERICA, and A NATURAL HISTORY OF TREES. On the inside front cover is the large later bookplate of Donald Culross Peattie. Very Good and absolutely one of a kind. Item #008599
Donald Culross Peattie (June 21, 1898 - November 16, 1964) was a U.S. botanist, naturalist, and author. He was described by Joseph Wood Krutch as "perhaps the most widely read of all contemporary American nature writers" during his heyday. Peattie has been called America’s most lyrical naturalist. He was essentially a poet, for in his writing he combined science with the spirit of poetry. His work reveals a strong appreciation for beauty and a sense of the unity of nature, considerable philosophic insight, and a concern for good prose. His nature writings are distinguished by a poetic and philosophical cast of mind and are scientifically scrupulous. His best known works are the two books (out of a planned trilogy) on North American trees which he wrote in the late 1940s and early '50s. AN ALMANAC FOR MODERNS, the day-to-day observations and reflections of a sensitive naturalist, was awarded the Gold Medal of the Limited Editions Club. His 1939 FLOWERING EARTH was named the best horticultural book of the year, and in 1940 received a silver medal from the Commonwealth Club of California. His autobiographical THE ROAD OF A NATURALIST was awarded a prize by Houghton Mifflin in 1941.