London: William Shoberl, 1850.
First Edition. Hardcover. Near fine. Two volumes, 8vo, pp. 4 (ads), [iii], iv-vii, [viii], 347; [ii], 413, with twenty-three plates from drawings by the author. A handsome set in three-quarter leather and marbled boards, with red and black spine labels, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, extensive gilt decoration on the spines. Rubbing to the joints and lower corners, very occasional minor foxing, small bookplate (Anne Ford) on a front blank of Volume II. Near fine. "Ryan, an Englishman with a taste for adventure, enlisted in 1847 in Stevenson's First Regiment of Californian Volunteers [and] reached Monterey in February 1848. When the regiment was disbanded in August 1848, he went to the Stanislaus River for an unsuccessful try at mining, returning to Monterey in the winter of 1849. He gives a gossipy but quite readable account of his travels and life in California, much of it being trivial but all adding up to a picture of the time" (Streeter 2646). Kurutz (548) says the plates in this work "furnish the reader with some of the best contemporary views of mining, cities, pueblos, and daily life in California." Sabin 74532; Graff 3626; Howes R-558; Cowan p 547, noting "his descriptions are among the best of his time."