David J. Weber, Book Review Editor
Peregrine Press, of Santa Barbara and Salt Lake City, entered the publishing field in 1970 by reprinting three classics of California literature, none of which need introduction to readers of this Journal: Life in California by Alfred Robinson (including Fray Geronimo Boscana’s Chinigchinich), introduction by Andrew Rolle ($2.95); The Shirley Letters by Dame Shirley (Louise Clappe), introduction by Richard Oglesby ($2.95); California by Josiah Royce, introduction by Earl Pomeroy ($3.25).
These modestly priced paperback editions are clearly designed as supplementary reading for college courses, but they will also make worthy additions to private libraries because they are printed on quality paper and well bound. Scholars may prefer Carl Wheat’s annotated edition of The Shirley Letters, but these new printings of Robinson and Royce are as sound as any previous editions. Moreover, all three of these reprints contain new introductions by prominent scholars.
Ballantine Books has begun publishing inexpensive paperback editions of Western Americana as “Comstock Editions.” Included in this series are works of popular history such as those of Oscar Lewis: The Big Four and Sea Routes to the Gold Fields, first published in 1938 and 1949 respectively, and available at $1.25 apiece.
McGraw-Hill is now making its well-received American Trails Series, edited by A. B. Guthrie, Jr., available in paperback. Printed on good quality paper with large, readable type, most of these volumes are priced at $3.50 and are designed to last. Of special interest to readers of this journal are: The California Trail: An Epic with Many Heroes, by George R. Stewart (1962); The Golden Road: The Story of California’s Spanish Mission Trail by Felix Riesenberg, Jr. (1962); and The El Dorado Trail: The Story of the Gold Rush Routes Across Mexico (1970). All three were published in paperback in 1971.