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Keeler, Charles Elfin Songs of Sunland [Verse for Children] with Dust Jacket



Berkeley, CA: Live Oak Publishing, 1920. Decorated cloth Hardcover in Dust Jacket.


Original publisher's binding of light blue cloth with darker blue titles on spine and upper cover, the upper cover with embossed Arts and Crafts design of Pan with pipes and a garland of grapes and leaves on his head, the figures surrounded by a round frame of birds and flowers in gold and pink with gilt highlights.


About fine in the fragile, Mylar protected, dust jacket with a spine fade, complete but for small chips to the spine crown. Fourth edition. xii, 115p. Page decorations by Louise Keeler consisting of with title page woodcut design and repeating headpieces to all pages and figures at the end of poems.


Charles Augustus Keeler was an American author, poet, ornithologist and advocate for the arts, particularly architecture.

And a ‘Fun Fact” He served as a model for Adelaide Hanscom Leeson’s photo illustrations in Omar Khayyam’s “Rubaiyat”.


Background Information:

Charles Augustus Keeler was friends with many influential naturalists and outdoorsmen, including John Muir, John Burroughs, painter William Keith and developer Duncan McDuffie—men who today would be called environmentalists. He was a charter member of the Sierra Club.

He was a lifelong adventurer. In 1893 he took a trip around Cape Horn on the clipper ship Charmer. In 1899, Keeler was invited to join other elite scientists on the Harriman Alaska Expedition, to study and document the coast of Alaska. He and his family voyaged to the South Pacific in 1900–1901, visiting Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, Samoa and Hawaii. In 1911-12 he took a worldwide poetry reading tour; he read before Queen Liliuokalani in Hawaii and the Emperor of Japan, and was a house guest of the Hindu poet Sarojini Naidu in Hyderabad, India.

In 1913 he settled in New York City, where he presented poetry readings, original plays, and "dance poems" in which his reading would be accompanied by music, and original dances by fellow Californian Maud Madison.


He was a spiritual seeker all his life, and eventually formulated the idea of starting a new religion. He founded the First Berkeley Cosmic Society in 1925 and the same year published a book outlining his view of a new "Cosmic Religion" based on a common bond shared by all religions, "the trinity of love, truth and beauty.”


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