Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1884. 4 pp undated ads. Original mustard yellow cloth decorated in gilt.
First Edition. Helen Fiske was born and raised in Amherst Massachusetts, where she was a close friend of Emily Dickinson; in 1852 she married a Capt. Hunt, but by 1865 he and their two children were dead. Close to despair, she turned to writing. In 1873, to relieve her hay fever, she went to Colorado; there she met and married banker William Jackson, living thereafter in Colorado Springs. She soon developed a growing indignation over the mistreatment of native Americans by the whites -- writing her book A CENTURY OF DISHONOR, which she sent to every member of Congress. RAMONA, far and away her greatest work, was next.
On the southern California ranch of Senora Moreno, a haughty Spaniard who refuses to yield to the onrushing tide of American conquest, live her son Felipe and Ramona Ortegna, a half-Indian and half-Scotch girl who does not realize she has been adopted. To this ranch comes Alessandro, a full-blooded Indian, who falls in love with Ramona and has his love reciprocated until Senora Moreno, enraged at the union between her adopted daughter and an Indian, attempts to sever the romance. Alessandro returns to his native village, which he finds has been destroyed by the Americans, who have also killed his father in seizing the Indian land... [OCAL]
To this day the old Estudillo estate in San Diego is known as "Ramona's Marriage Place," and tourists are encouraged to believe that Ramona and Alessandro were actual persons.
This copy is in mustard yellow cloth (one of several colors offered simultaneously), and is in near-fine condition (very light cover soil, as one would expect with this color cloth); there is scarcely any wear, and the original decorative endpapers are present and intact. This classic western tale has become rather scarce in collectible condition. Blanck 10456; a "Johnson High Spot" selection. Item #13783