First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #002376
Washington, D.C.: Gibson Bros., 1903. First Edition, SIGNED by the author with inscription dated July 4th, 1903 in Washington on front free endpaper. Red cloth boards with gilt lettering and capital dome. Photo frontis. Small bump to top front edge, with lighter bumping to corners and spine ends and some general light smudging and soiling to cloth. Covers open a bit easily to after title page but binding is holding soundly.
Joyce was a Union Colonel with the 24th Kentucky Infantry during the Civil War who moved to Washington after the war and worked for the IRS while publishing several books of poems and reminiscences, the best-known of these being his A Checkered Life, which ends with his word-for-word plagiarism of Ella Wheeler's poem "Solitude," origin of the phrase "Laugh and the world laughs with you." Joyce went to his grave (literally--it's written on his tombstone) maintaining the poem was his despite its appearance in Wheeler's Poems of Passion two years prior. Less controversially, his Beautiful Washington is a sweeping paean to his adopted city, which he called "the most beautiful capital on the globe" and "superior of ancient cities in the promulgation of universal education, mechanical and scientific invention, commercial progress, liberty, equal rights, and prosperity for all mankind," a claim he intended to proclaim on a lecture tour of the US accompanied by over a hundred canvas illustrations of the city's sights.