Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Yet another Rand McNally title with a cover by W. W. Denslow....

This is Alaska, written by A. P. Swineford, who was Governor of the District of Alaska from 1885 to 1889. The book is from 1898, and features a Denslow landscape across the cover and spine, as well as a Russian crest on the rear cover, and what I believe is an American eagle on the front. There is a totem on the spine, and Denslow's seahorse signature is above the author's name on the front cover.

This was written not long after the discovery of gold in the Klondike region, but Swineford states in his introduction that he is purposely avoiding reporting on that subject, as the daily press is a better resource for information!

A fun feature of the book is a large map which is folded and attached to the rear endpaper - this does point out the areas where gold was discovered.

The landscape cover brings to mind Denslow's work on Told in the Rockies and Shifting Sands, or The Waters of Caney Fork, all of which feature extended landscape images. I like the effect of the design running across the entire book, and it gives Denslow more scope for his illustration.

Incidentally, Swineford's wife was named Psyche Flower. That conjures up an image!


Bell-Snickle said...


Jane said...

I was once staying in a rental home in San Francisco where the owner had an extensive collection of Alaskan material. Scanning a wall of books this spine caught my eye and I pulled it out. Imagine my pleasure at finding Denslow was already there, waiting to be discovered.