A New Edition of the Mount Omei Illustrated Guide (1936)
Mt. Omei (also Emei) in China has been a major religious site and "holy mountain" for over fifteen hundred years. Early Western visitors wrote descriptions of their experiences with the site, but Dryden Phelps (Professor of English Literature at West China Union University) went much further and translated the Mount Emei Illustrated Handbook, a Chinese-language guide first published in 1891. This 1936 translation and "new edition" features the original Chinese text with an English translation and annotations below.
The original woodblock plates from the original guide were destroyed or missing, so the illustrations for this edition were redrawn by Yii Tz -tan. A fascinating detailed history of the book and the mountain, by David Leffman, can be found online.
Provenance: given to the previous owner by the author's son, while he was renting the Phelps' home in Big Sur, California, circa 1980. Item #1552.
Condition: Very Good, chips and loss to the brittle paper wraps, as is common to the edition, with the covers of this copy appearing to be more intact than most examples; foxing/spotting to text blocks, and to front and back flyleafs, with occasional spotting to some interior pages; evidence of small amount of previous moisture forming a 1.5" quarter-circle near bottom spine corner, not visible on most pages; small amount of loss to delicate paper applied to top/bottom of spine ends; rubbing/wear to paste-down title strip in Chinese on front cover near top; see detail photos relating to above condition notes; overall very good for this edition, and now in a custom mylar jacket to protect the brittle paper wraps from further chipping.