Very good. Burton Holmes (1870-1958) was an American writer, photographer, and filmmaker who perfected the art of the documentary travel lecture. He "coined the term travelogue in 1904 to advertise his unique live stage presentations combining stories of his travels with slides and motion pictures. Sophisticated and elegantly attired, Holmes became the world’s most famous traveler during the first half of the 20th century through his books, magazine articles, lectures and films. Born into a prosperous Chicago family in 1870, Holmes turned a chance encounter in the early 1890’s with John L. Stoddard, the then reigning 19th century travel lecturer, into a lifelong career. Each summer for over fifty years Holmes would roam the globe and then tour American auditoriums in the winter" (Burton Holmes Archive website) often delivering more than 100 lectures in season and playing a significant role in the burgeoning commercial travel and tourism industry. This group of materials promotes the twelve-volume set of his published (and extensively illustrated) lectures, offering readers the benefits of "300,000 miles of travel through 36 cities and countries" without the cost, hassle, or dangers of actually leaving their homes. Rather than the $250,000 Holmes spent on his journeys, the argument went, you could spend just $2.00 a month (for 14 months) for "all the pleasures, experiences, and value of a foreign tour."
These promotional materials were produced by "McClure's Tourists Agency," an offshoot of McClure's Magazine that seems to have been invented to sell their edition Holmes' books and never to have sent anyone on an actual trip. It includes a two-page circular on Agency letterhead, a flyer printed in red and green marketing the set as a Christmas gift, an order form for schools and public institutions only. and a 6.5" x 10" brochure printed in red and black on glossy stock, which folds out to a 13" x 20" sheet with a life-size illustration of the Special Library Edition. All have folding creases from mailing, and the original mailing envelope--illustrated with a Middle Eastern motif--is also included, along with a reply envelope for sending order forms. The materials are not dated, by the mailing envelope is postmarked 1910.