NY: Scribner's, 1928. First edition. Hardcover. A local association copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper in the year of publication: "For my eternal friend, Walter D. Daskam. Dear Walter: - When you get tired of Men, men, men, try these blooming animals, for a change, and charge the time to the account of yours truly, W.T. Hornaday, Stamford, Oct 25, 1928." Uncommon signed.
Walter Daskam lived in Stamford, CT, like Hornaday, and was the president of Stamford Trust Company, thus the joke about "charging" the time. Among other endeavors, he was on the board of trustees for The Agassiz Association for the study of natural science.
This book is series of stories in which the narrator, who is Hornaday, visits with and interviews animals who talk and give testimony. As he writes in the preface, "The author disclaims all responsibility for the opinions of his animal friends who knock on the moral quality of the alleged lords of creation, and for the use of the outdoor language that invariably is employed in such interviews." Arguably Hornaday is leaning into satirical "nature faker" territory here, which is fascinating (he famously said of the writer William Long, the paramount "nature faker," that “Whenever Mr. Long enters the woods, the most marvelous things begin to happen"). In any case, it's good fun and informed by Hornaday's extensive research into animal behavior and cognition. Hornaday is well-recognized as a pivotal early champion of wildlife conservation as the first director of the Bronx Zoo and president of the American Bison Society, dedicated to protecting bison in the West.
Dark blue cloth with red lettering. With illustrations by Lang Campbell. Very good with a slight cock to spine and a few spots of soiling to the inner hinge, dust smudge at corner of lower text block face, as well as general toning. Lacking the dustjacket. Very good. Item #1062
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