Books  Habitats, Ecosystems & Natural Spaces  Deserts & Arid Lands 

The Desert: Further Studies in Natural Appearances

Series: American Land Classics Series

By: John C Van Dyke

296 pages, 2 illus

Johns Hopkins University Press

Paperback | Sep 1999 | #95017 | ISBN: 0801862248
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £17.50 $21/€20 approx

About this book

Van Dyke's book first captured the nation's imagination in 1901, at a time when attitudes about the land were changing. It provided a vocabulary that continues to be used as appreciation of deserts increases and ever greater pressures lead to new calls to protect these fragile environments. With an introduction by Peter Wild, this annotated edition offers new insights - and reveals some surprising truths - about this legendary author and his best known work. Van Dyke was not, it seems, the "plaster saint of the desert." He was not entirely honest with his readers about the journeys that inspired the book, and his natural history includes serious errors. But in this more informed reading, Wild notes, Van Dyke "emerges as all the more fascinating a writer and his famous book becomes far more intriguing than most readers have imagined through the decades."

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John C. Van Dyke was a professor of art history at Rutgers University and the author of many books, including 'The Open Spaces', 'The Mountain', and 'Autobiography'. Peter Wild is a professor of English at the University of Arizona. His books include 'The Secret Life of John C. Van Dyke' and 'Daggett: Life in a Mojave Frontier Town'.

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