San Francisco: Edward Bosqui, 1878.
First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. 7.25", 156 pp, in original black cloth with title stamped in gilt on front board. Minor insect damage to cloth, corners rubbed; very good. Stamp of San Francisco antiquarian bookseller I.N. Choynski on front pastedown. Julia Clinton Jones was the grand-daughter of New York Governor DeWitt Clinton and author of several works of historical verse and prose. Valhalla was her first and most important book, of interest in the context of many other nineteenth century interpretations of Norse myth by American authors. Jones writes in the preface that "it is much to be deplored that so slight a knowledge of Scandinavian Mythology prevails, popularly" noting that "scholarly investigation has clung rather to the classic lore and mythology of Greece and Rome than to the less classic, but far purer and truer religion of the North." In The American Discovery of the Norse (1999), Erik Invar Thurin devotes considerable attention to Jones' work, which he calls and "the symbolic end product of the Norse revival in America." The book consists of a 22-page preface, epic poem in twelve parts, and an "index of notes," which identifies mytholgical characters and defines Norse terms likely to be unfamiliar to American readers. Well-represented in institutions, but scarce in commerce.