Skip to main content
Grolier Club Exhibitions

John Muir

John Muir First Editions. 

John Muir (1838-1914).

John Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist and advocate for the preservation of the North American wilderness. He co-founded the Sierra Club and was instrumental in establishing Yosemite National Park. Through his popular books, essays, and other writings, he brought awareness of environmental preservation to a wide audience. 

This case features four books written by Muir in their first editions. All are bound in contemporary American publishers’ cloth, exhibiting a range of styles and designs from 1894 to 1918.  

The Mountains of California

The Mountains of California.

John Muir. New York: Century Co., 1894. 1st edition.

Muir’s first book was a tribute to the beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The Story of my Boyhood and Youth.

John Muir. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1913. 1st edition.

An autobiographical account of Muir’s childhood in Dunbar, Scotland, immigration to America, adolescence on a pioneer farm near Kingston, Wisconsin, and student years at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. 

Our National Parks

Our National Parks.

John Muir. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin (Riverside Press), 1901. 1st edition.

A collection of ten essays, originally published in the Atlantic Monthly, that promote the “beauty, grandeur, and all-embracing usefulness of our wild mountain forest reservations and parks.” (Preface). 

Steep Trails.

John Muir. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1918. 1st edition.

Muir’s last book, published posthumously, is a collection of essays and letters dedicated to his travels to the lakes, canyons, and mountains of the North American west.