AGASSIZ, Elizabeth Cary. Louis Agassiz His Life and Correspondence.

Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1886.


8vo. 2 vols. Original blue cloth, gilt lettering to spines; pp. xi, 400, [8, pubs. list of works by Agassiz] & ix, 401-794, [6, pubs. list of works by Agassiz], 8 plates, frontispiece in each volume; near fine. Provenance: presentation copy, inscribed to front blank of each volume to Sara P. Lowell Blake from Mrs Agassiz, and with her calling card pasted at front of vol. I with the message “My dear Sally - I have wished to bring these vols. to you myself - I leave them with a great deal of love from your old friend, and am so sorry dear not to see you & to hear that you are ill, Your loving E.C.A.” Sara Putnam Lowell Blake was the daughter of John Amory Lowell, the founder of the Lowell Institute where Louis Agassiz was a celebrated guest lecturer. It was probably at the Institute that Eliza first met Sally.

Second edition. A biography of the naturalist and geologist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) by his second wife. Elizabeth Agassiz accompanied her husband on his visit to Europe in 1859, and also on his expeditions to Brazil (1865-6) and to the Strait of Magellan (1871-2). Her biography first appeared in 1885, and presentation copies of any edition are uncommon. Agassiz's views are expressed trenchantly throughout, not least his opinion of Darwinism: "My recent studies have made more adverse than ever to the new scientific doctrines which are flourishing now in England… I trust to outlive this mania also" (p. 647).