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Vintage book SIGNED first edition on nature of Michigan Grand Rapids Flora by Emma J Cole, 1901 wild plants catalog, detailed maps and notes

Vintage book SIGNED first edition on nature of Michigan Grand Rapids Flora by Emma J Cole, 1901 wild plants catalog, detailed maps and notes

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Overview

  • Vintage item from 1900 - 1909
  • Favorited by: 8 people
  • Gift message available
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Description

There is no other book like this one.

For anyone living in Grand Rapids Michigan, this book is calling for you. Anyone living in Michigan in general? This book is calling to you. Anyone interested in the area, like me? This book is calling to you.

Emma J. Cole is not a well known historical figure but her writings in this book are -- she was a naturalist who studied flora under Professor A. J. Volland, a talent in his own right, and her compilation of the nature of her area is impressive, and important to any outdoor enthusiast interested in studying Michigan.

The frontispiece of the work is a gorgeous "Map of the Vicinity of Grand Rapids compiled by H C Skeels" and includes not only Grand Rapids but Alpine, Write, Cannon, Walker, Tallmadge, Georgetown, Cascade, Vergennes, Caledonia, Gaines, Byron, Wyoming, Paris, Jamestown and more. Running my fingers over the lines and details, I found myself transported, and you will too.

The book works as a log of sorts, as noted by the author in her introduction: "I have aimed to include in this publication all of the flowering plants and higher cryptograms, so far as observed, which grow without cultivation within sixteen and one fourth townships, an area of 585 square miles...The average rainfall, including that in the form of snow, from 1870 to 1899 was 36.55 inches...Under these favorable climactic conditions we find trees and lesser plants, such as the tulip-tree, mulberry, papaw, pepperidge, Judas-tree, Kentucky coffee-tree, flowering dogwood, etc., which themselves belong to Ohio, Central Illinois, and even further south, maintaining themselves in the Grand River Valley and western part of the State...as may be seen in the following lists."

The detail and precision goes on from there. Later in the introduction comes a part called "Geology, Topography, and Soil," aimed to be sure the reader understands the land on which this flora is located and was studied, and the introduction ends with "PLAN OF THE CATALOGUE" noting:

"The names of the species supposed to be indigenous to the New World are printed in heavy faced type" here she uses bold type :) " The name of the plants supposed to be introduced from the Old World are printed in small capitals" here she uses small capitals :) You have to love her antiquated terminology, mentions of the Old and New Worlds, for instance, or her calling what we call bold-faced type heavy faced type. The rest of the book follows this way too -- the terms it uses go from scientific to outmoded, and it makes the reading all the more interesting as you go through.

This book is so incredibly labored over you can just tell, and that makes you appreciate not only the information contained within, but the writer herself, and scientists and geologists and naturalists everywhere that take the time to discover new plants, preserve information on the old, and do all that is involved with making catalogues and books like these. Without these we would be lost to determine whether this or that plant was poisonous, where this flower came from, what type of tree this is and how old, etc.

This book would be perfect, and I mean PERFECT, for someone writing about Michigan, as Ernest Hemingway did, as it would help set the stage--the earthly stage, that is--for the story. I am in fact writing a story set in Michigan, and have used this catalogue (gingerly) in multiple cases.

I hope you find this and for whatever reason you do use it, do. And enjoy doing it.

And here's the straight information you may be looking for:

-Full title: Grand Rapids Flora. A Catalogue of the Flowering Plants and Ferns Growing Without Cultivation in the Vicinity of Grand Rapids, Michigan
-Author: Emma J. Cole
-Format: Softcover, first edition signed by author with personal note on cover
-Condition: Nearly mint
-Publisher: A. Van Dort, Book and Job Printer
-Copyright: Emma J Dole, 1901
-Date published: 1901
-Provenance: Picked this up at a sale without knowing it was signed by the author to a famous professor of the time! This was in spring 2015. Previously it was owned by a Professor Albert J Volland, somewhat famous in his time, with the inscription on the front dedicated to him by the author.
-Pricing: I priced the book this way because it is signed by the author, and an absolutely unique piece. There really is no other book even close to being like this one, and all other copies have seemingly faded away into the night. Whoever owns this relic will know that they have an incomparable catalog of flowers and plants from the Michigan area, which in itself has such a special natural history it inspired the writings of Ernest Hemingway. Emma J. Cole also inscribed it and gifted it herself to a prominent professor, A. J. Volland, and that connection added to my pricing decision. Most importantly, this work is from the year 1901 -- 1901! How does that not give you chills?! -- and has held up beautifully, so it is worth even more for that.
There is no other book like this one.

For anyone living in Grand Rapids Michigan, this book is calling for you. Anyone living in Michigan in general? This book is calling to you. Anyone interested in the area, like me? This book is calling to you.

Emma J. Cole is not a well known historical figure but her writings in this book are -- she was a naturalist who studied flora under Professor A. J. Volland, a talent in his own right, and her compilation of the nature of her area is impressive, and important to any outdoor enthusiast interested in studying Michigan.

The frontispiece of the work is a gorgeous "Map of the Vicinity of Grand Rapids compiled by H C Skeels" and includes not only Grand Rapids but Alpine, Write, Cannon, Walker, Tallmadge, Georgetown, Cascade, Vergennes, Caledonia, Gaines, Byron, Wyoming, Paris, Jamestown and more. Running my fingers over the lines and details, I found myself transported, and you will too.

The book works as a log of sorts, as noted by the author in her introduction: "I have aimed to include in this publication all of the flowering plants and higher cryptograms, so far as observed, which grow without cultivation within sixteen and one fourth townships, an area of 585 square miles...The average rainfall, including that in the form of snow, from 1870 to 1899 was 36.55 inches...Under these favorable climactic conditions we find trees and lesser plants, such as the tulip-tree, mulberry, papaw, pepperidge, Judas-tree, Kentucky coffee-tree, flowering dogwood, etc., which themselves belong to Ohio, Central Illinois, and even further south, maintaining themselves in the Grand River Valley and western part of the State...as may be seen in the following lists."

The detail and precision goes on from there. Later in the introduction comes a part called "Geology, Topography, and Soil," aimed to be sure the reader understands the land on which this flora is located and was studied, and the introduction ends with "PLAN OF THE CATALOGUE" noting:

"The names of the species supposed to be indigenous to the New World are printed in heavy faced type" here she uses bold type :) " The name of the plants supposed to be introduced from the Old World are printed in small capitals" here she uses small capitals :) You have to love her antiquated terminology, mentions of the Old and New Worlds, for instance, or her calling what we call bold-faced type heavy faced type. The rest of the book follows this way too -- the terms it uses go from scientific to outmoded, and it makes the reading all the more interesting as you go through.

This book is so incredibly labored over you can just tell, and that makes you appreciate not only the information contained within, but the writer herself, and scientists and geologists and naturalists everywhere that take the time to discover new plants, preserve information on the old, and do all that is involved with making catalogues and books like these. Without these we would be lost to determine whether this or that plant was poisonous, where this flower came from, what type of tree this is and how old, etc.

This book would be perfect, and I mean PERFECT, for someone writing about Michigan, as Ernest Hemingway did, as it would help set the stage--the earthly stage, that is--for the story. I am in fact writing a story set in Michigan, and have used this catalogue (gingerly) in multiple cases.

I hope you find this and for whatever reason you do use it, do. And enjoy doing it.

And here's the straight information you may be looking for:

-Full title: Grand Rapids Flora. A Catalogue of the Flowering Plants and Ferns Growing Without Cultivation in the Vicinity of Grand Rapids, Michigan
-Author: Emma J. Cole
-Format: Softcover, first edition signed by author with personal note on cover
-Condition: Nearly mint
-Publisher: A. Van Dort, Book and Job Printer
-Copyright: Emma J Dole, 1901
-Date published: 1901
-Provenance: Picked this up at a sale without knowing it was signed by the author to a famous professor of the time! This was in spring 2015. Previously it was owned by a Professor Albert J Volland, somewhat famous in his time, with the inscription on the front dedicated to him by the author.
-Pricing: I priced the book this way because it is signed by the author, and an absolutely unique piece. There really is no other book even close to being like this one, and all other copies have seemingly faded away into the night. Whoever owns this relic will know that they have an incomparable catalog of flowers and plants from the Michigan area, which in itself has such a special natural history it inspired the writings of Ernest Hemingway. Emma J. Cole also inscribed it and gifted it herself to a prominent professor, A. J. Volland, and that connection added to my pricing decision. Most importantly, this work is from the year 1901 -- 1901! How does that not give you chills?! -- and has held up beautifully, so it is worth even more for that.

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FAQs

Absolutely! I'm willing to do anything to get this book to you, but I will not write on it. If it is not in the condition you want, I know preservation techniques and will certainly oblige as best I can. You just need to let me know.
I will wrap the book any way you want. It is special and so are you, you deserve it! I will also write cards, include photographs, anything you'd like that would make this transaction more, well, you.
I won't tell you how to care for your book, but as to how they are cared for now, they are housed in two places -- some are wrapped in plastic in my main room in the part of the house that used to be a quaint B&B, lined on lovely old wooden bookshelves; others are stacked in piles or leaning on cool, creative and different bookends all round the room, and all are given care, attention, and kept away from my dog :)

Others sit in my library, in built-in authentic 1800s wooden and glass-door library shelves that line the walls in a secluded room in a historic home on the shore. With vintage, warm lamplights over the tiny marble fireplace, the library's windows catch plenty of sunlight--the books are in good homes and will arrive undamaged.
If the book comes later than expected this does not mean it was sent late. Every book is sent within 1-3 business days, unless one of the days is a Sunday, then it could be an extra day. This applies to International orders as well, but they might take longer to get to you than in-country orders. If there is a problem, please bring it up with UPS or see Etsy's policies.
I am more than willing to hunt down a specific book for you. This can take time, however, and would be a matter of personal back-and-forth on the site so you would have to keep in contact. There is no guarantee. I'm good at finding things however, and if I cannot find it to sell to you myself I will direct you to where I can find it online, if I can.

Important to note, however, that I may have it in my holdings already so it ALWAYS helps to check in with me. Listings come up continually, and it may just be waiting here to get processed and put up.
Contact me directly via the site and I will do my absolute best to help correct it. There should be no problems.
Always willing to make new friends and take on new jobs or opportunities -- this business does not stop me from working a full or part time job, and I am currently looking, so please contact me! Dempseylynch@gmail.com. I am definitely interested in talking with you and love meeting new people (especially book lovers of course).
Sure! Although the books are priced the way they are and are worth that amount based on a lot of factors (condition compared to others available online, if there are any available online or if it is the only one, age and whether it is signed or special in some way, etc.) I am always willing to hear you out as to why you think the books price is off, and work with you as best I can. I cannot guarantee the price will change, that is bad for my business, but I will listen to you. Don't be afraid to reach out. The worst that can happen is I will say no.

I put the reasons behind my pricing method for each item at the end of the listing so check that out if you're curious too :)

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