First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #003006
Washington, D.C.: Gibson Bros., 1903. First Edition, SIGNED by the author with inscription dated June 26, 1903 in Washington on front free endpaper. Blue cloth boards with gilt lettering and capital dome. Photo frontis. Covers show light bumping to corners and spine ends with a few small runs to cloth on back. Hinge cracking between frontis and title page with title page separating just over an inch down from top along gutter, but binding is holding soundly. Pages clean and unmarked.
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.