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Robert Louis (1850-1894). The Silverado Squatters. London:
Chatto & Windus, 1883.  254  32 (publisher’s catalogue)
pp., sepia frontispiece by Joseph Strong. 8vo, original sage green
cloth decorated and lettered in sepia and gold. Light outer wear (most
noticeably to corners with a bit of board exposed), front hinge cracked
(frontispiece and free endpaper detached but present), interior fresh
and clean, overall very good with bright gilt on binding. Preserved
in a cloth chemise and half green morocco slipcase. Thomas W. Streeter’s
copy with his printed book label. Engraved armorial bookplate of Charles
Baxter. John Howell–Books pencil notes at back, including Warren
R. Howell’s notation: “First edition [and cost code] soyg.”
First edition, first issue (with the word “His” omitted on next-to-last line of p. 140). Beinecke 231. Cowan I, p. 221n (citing the American edition). Cowan II, p. 615. Grolier Stevenson Exhibit 52. Holliday 1051. Howell 50, California 854. Howes S980. Huntington Library, Zamorano 80...Exhibition of Famous and Notorious California Classics 71. Powell, California Classics, pp. 163-74: “Volumes and libraries have been written about California, and yet none holds more essential truth than Stevenson’s few pages.” Prideaux, p. 24. Streeter Sale 2984 (this copy, tracing provenance back to 1949). Zamorano 80 #71 (Leslie E. Bliss): “Fourteen delightful essays resulting from the author’s dwelling high on the side of Mt. St. Helena by the entrance to an abandoned silver mine. It contains one of the author’s finest sketches, many times reprinted, ‘The Sea Fogs.’” ($300-600)
Robert Louis. The Silverado Squatters. San Francisco:
The Grabhorn Press, 1952.  181  pp., text illustration (full-page
reproduction in sepia tone of the frontispiece to the original edition),
decorated title and chapter headings. 8vo, original white linen over
blue patterned boards, printed grey paper spine label. Very fine.
Limited edition, the variant without Biobooks stamped on last leaf. Grabhorn (1940-1956) #521. ($50-100)
71B. STEVENSON, Robert Louis. Silverado
Journal. San Francisco: [The Grabhorn Press for] The Book Club
of California, 1954. lxxii, 95 [1, colophon] pp., facsimiles. 4to,
original black cloth over rose patterned cloth, printed rose paper
spine label. Very fine, publisher’s prospectus laid in.
The Silverado Squatters, a book of romance and travel, is
one of the most beloved works of California literature and history.
While providing a charming and endearing picture of life in the shadow
of Mt. St. Helena, “the Mount Blanc of the California range,” Silverado
Squatters marks an important turning point in Stevenson’s career.
Ann Roller Issler, an authority on Stevenson’s Napa sojourn, explained:
“As a writer, this summer at Silverado he left behind his fumbling
youth. Silverado was the retreat that healed his soul and gave him
back to the world.” Furthermore, the time spent in and around Monterey
and “the long green valley” of Napa gave the celebrated writer rich
literary material that he would later incorporate into future novels
Treasure Island, Ollala, and The Wreckers.
——Gary F. Kurutz
Additional sources consulted: Ann Roller Issler, Stevenson at Silverado: The Life and Writing of Robert Louis Stevenson in the Napa Valley, California, 1880 (Fresno: Valley Publishers, 1974); Oscar Lewis, Introduction to Robert Louis Stevenson: The Silverado Squatters (Ashland: Lewis Osborne, 1972); Lawrence Clark Powell, California Classics (Los Angeles: The Ward Ritchie Press, 1971), pp. 163-74.
Item 71. Frontispiece by Joseph Strong, for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Silverado Squatters.