Yellowstone, Land of Wonders
Promenade in North America’s National Park
Written by Jules Leclercq in 1886
Translated and edited by Janet Chapple and Suzanne Cane
Foreword by Lee H. Whittlesey
Hardcover, 288 pages
44 black & white engravings
List price: $29.95
Published May 1, 2013
University of Nebraska Press
About the Book
In the summer of 1883 Belgian travel writer Jules Leclercq spent ten days on horseback in Yellowstone National Park, exploring astonishing geysers, majestic waterfalls, the vast lake, and the breathtaking canyon. He also recorded the considerable human activity, including the rampant vandalism. Leclercq’s account of his travels is itself a small marvel blending natural history, firsthand impressions, scientific lore, and anecdote. Along with his observations on the park’s long-rumored fountains of boiling water and mountains of glass, Leclercq describes camping near geysers, washing clothes in a bubbling hot spring, and meeting diverse characters.
A sensation in Europe, the book was never published in English. This deft translation at long last makes available to English-speaking readers a masterpiece of western American travel writing that is a fascinating historical document in its own right.
Where to Buy
Although Granite Peak Publications does not sell this book, you can buy it online directly from University of Nebraska Press, from an online bookseller such as Amazon.com, or from your local independent bookstore. It is also available as an ebook in Kindle format.
Several blog posts discuss the book and give short excerpts, including
“[Yellowstone, Land of Wonders is] a lovely translation . . . perfect for American history, natural history, or travel collections alike.” —Midwest Book Review
“This deft translation at long last makes available to English-speaking readers a masterpiece of western American travel writing that is a fascinating historical document in its own right.” —Christopher Lewis, Dad of Divas
“Leclercq’s ardent curiosity and the charm of his descriptions make this a treasure. It’s a well-made book, with meticulous editing and a felicitous translation.” —Lois D. Atwood, “The year in books,” Providence Journal, December 29, 2013
“A very welcome addition to Yellowstone’s historical literature, this book presents a late–Victorian European visitor’s lively impressions of the park, its science, its lore, and its literature.” —Paul Schullery, author of Searching for Yellowstone and coauthor of Myth and History in the Creation of Yellowstone National Park
“Longtime Yellowstone chronicler Janet Chapple, with the help of translator Suzanne Cane, resurrected Leclercq’s writings about Yellowstone, which had never been translated into English.” —Brett French, “Read these 3 books before visiting Yellowstone,” Billings Gazette (available via the Everett Herald), May 26, 2013
Revised August 3, 2017