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About the Book
In the summer of 1883 Belgian travel writer Jules Leclercq spent ten days on horseback in Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, exploring myriad natural wonders: astonishing geysers, majestic waterfalls, the vast lake, and the breathtaking canyon. He also recorded the considerable human activity, including the rampant vandalism. Leclercq’s account of his travels is itself a small marvel blending natural history, firsthand impressions, scientific lore, and anecdote. Along with his observations on the park’s long-rumored fountains of boiling water and mountains of glass, Leclercq describes camping near geysers, washing clothes in a bubbling hot spring, and meeting such diverse characters as local guides and tourists from the United States and Europe. Notables including former president Ulysses S. Grant and then-president Chester A. Arthur were also in the park that summer to inaugurate the newly completed leg of the Northern Pacific Railroad.
A sensation in Europe, the book was never published in English. This deft translation at long last makes available to English-speaking readers a masterpiece of western American travel writing that is a fascinating historical document in its own right.
About the Author
Jules Leclercq (1848–1928), who wrote twenty-three travelogues, was a judge by profession and a founding member of the Royal Belgian Geographical Society. Janet Chapple is the author of Yellowstone Treasures: The Traveler’s Companion to the National Park. Suzanne Cane is a librarian and independent French translator.
My Take on the Book
I love Yellowstone o the name of this book drew me in. Once I started reading I could not put it down. The author has a vivid way of creating an environment rich with description and you truly feel the grandeur of Yellowstone the way it would have been back in the 1800's. The research on this book was complete and you could tell that they left nothing to chance in the writing of this book. Though I have read other travel writers in the past, this author was unknown to me, but I am so impressed with how he makes Yellowstone even more amazing than I know that it is because of my own experiences with it myself. You can tell through reading this book how wild and free the land was even though it was a national park, and the author gives you a glimpse into not only the park but life in general during that period of time. If you have ever been to Yellowstone or if you have always wanted to go to this park, this book will transport you there without stepping foot outside of your own home, and it will make you want to visit the actual park even more!
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