New York: Charles Scribner, 1857. 8vo. 516 pp., plus leaf of publisher’s advertisements. FIRST EDITION. With frontispiece, 3 additional plates, appendix, and list of author’s publications. Contemporary cloth, blindstamped borders on covers with the initials “C.S.” in the middle, rebacked; new endpapers, interior like new. Stamp of the Long Island Historical Society (and discard stamp) on title. Item #15137
First edition of Brace’s love letter to Scandinavia. Tracing American and Western European glory to the Norse and Vikings, Brace presents his travels through Norway and Sweden as a type of homecoming. He clarifies that his main objective is “not historical, but simply to picture the life of to-day,” aiming to focus on descriptions of people and places instead of the dull abstract mechanisms of the modern state, as found in other historical travel books.
Brace (1826–1890) was an American author and philanthropist, father of the modern foster care movement and famed for initiating the Orphan Train Movement and establishing the Children’s Aid Society. Much of his work in social justice was influenced by his graduate work in theology at Yale and the Union Theological Seminary, and his time as a minister. Brace was also an avid abolitionist and dedicated student of Darwin’s theories of evolution.