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Kindred and Related Spirits

The Letters of John Muir and Jeanne C. Carr

Edited by Bonnie Johanna Gisel

Kindred and Related Spirits Book Cover Kindred and Related Spirits
The Letters of John Muir and Jeanne C. Carr
Edited by Bonnie Johanna Gisel
Foreword by Ronald H. Limbaugh

The University of Utah Press
397 pp., 6 x 9
25 illustrations
35 halftones
Cloth $34.95
ISBN 0-87480-682-8
Release Date:
May, 2001

Publisher's Press Release

"Dear John, I have often in my heart wondered what God was training you for, He gave you the eye within the eye, to see in all natural objecs the realized ideas of His mind. He gave you pure tastes and the steady preference of whatsoever is most lovely. He has made you a more individualized existence than is common, and by your very nature and organization removed you from common tempttions .... do not be anxious about it [your future. He will surely place you where your work is. . . Dear friend, my recognition of you from the first was just this - 'one of His beloved.'"

Jeanne  Carr and John Muir

"Dear Jeanne, I have been out on the river bank with my letters. How good and wise they seem to be! You wrote better than you know. All together they form a precious volume whose sentences are more intimately connected with my mountain work than any one will ever be able to appreciate."

In 1915, John Muir's elder daughter, Wanda Muir Hanna, oversaw the publication of Letters to a Friend , a collection of her father's letters to Jeanne C. Carr, with whom Muir had shared a thirty-year correspondence. But Carr's letters to Muir remained unpublished -- until now. Kindred and Related Spirits offers for the first time the complete, extant correspondence between Muir and Carr, revealing the extraordinary influence Carr had on Muir the scientist, Muir the writer, and on Muir the man.

In addition to correcting errors in the historical record, Gisel provides illuminating chapter notes to the letters explaining and amplifying their content. More than fifty photographs and illustrations, including many never-before published botanical drawings by Carr, complement the text.

Flowers by Jeanne Carr

As the letters attest, Muir's "destiny" owed no small debt to Carr. She doted on and comforted Muir, offering him understanding and advice in addition to abiding affection. She urged Muir to visit Yosemite, introduced him to influential people like Ralph Waldo Emerson, and badgered him to publish his work. Their lifetime friendship, characterized by an ecstatic spiritual celebration of the natural world, nurtured and sustained Muir from his obscure beginnings as an amateur botanist and continued as he grew into as one of the most influential conservationists and natural historians of all time. After eighty-five years, readers will at last be able to read this trove of letters understand something of Muir's enduring gratitude to Jeanne Carr.

"It will be a blessing to have Jeanne Carr's letters to John Muir in print. Theirs was a significant relationship, and her correspondence will enable readers and scholars to begin to assess and appreciate her extraordinary influence upon and mentoring of one of the most important figures in the nascent environmental movement."
-- J. Parker Huber, editor of Elevating Ourselves, Thoreau on Mountains

Bonnie Johanna Gisel was interim director and visiting professor for the John Muir Center for Regional Studies at the University of the Pacific and coordinator of the university's 2001 conference, John Muir: Family and Friends. She is currently Curator of the Sierra Club's LeConte Memorial Lodge in Yosemite.

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