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Around the World on a Bicycle

Volume II: From Teheran to Yokohama

by Thomas Stevens 

First edition.  New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1888 

Hardback is overall in VERY GOOD condition.

  • Publisher's green cloth covers have illustration and titles in red, silver, and black. 
  • Boards show some scuffing, smudges, staining, edgewear.  Corners are bumped and scuffed.  See photos.  
  • Spine with multi-color illustration and black text is darkened, with crushed, frayed ends.  See photos.
  • Binding is secure, with some rounding. 
  • Pastedowns and feps of gray paper have a scrape at front pastedown, a chip to upper edge at rear.  See photos. 
  • Frontispiece is present, with loose tissue guard.
  • Illustrations, black and white line drawings, are bright and clear. 
  • Interior is gently age-toned, exhibits scattered smudges, a closed tear at margin of pgs. 7-8.  See photos.  
  • Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks.
  • Text block edges have a few marks. 
  • PS2024.0529

477 pages. 5.75 x 8.5 inches

A very good copy of this scarce first edition, in the publisher's original illustrated covers.  Thomas Stevens (1854-1935) was the first person to circle the globe on a bicycle, which he accomplished with a multi-part journey that ran from April 1884-December 1886.  His adventures filled two volumes; this volume, the second, describes his journey from Teheran to Yokohama.  At the back of the book is a detailed itinerary of the 13,500 miles Stevens rode.  

Stevens was born in England and emigrated to the United States in 1871.  In San Francisco he learned to ride a bicycle, and while working in mining camps out West he got the idea of riding around the world.  In 1884 he acquired a black-enameled Columbia 50-inch 'Standard' penny-farthing with nickel-plated wheels, built by the Pope Manufacturing Company of Chicago.  In his handlebar bag he packed socks, a spare shirt, a raincoat that doubled as tent and bedroll, and a pocket revolver.  

Magazines published the accounts of his travels and made Stevens a special correspondent. Thomas Wentworth Higginson heard Stevens speak at the Massachusetts Bicycle Club, and said: "He seemed like Jules Verne, telling his own wonderful performances.  We found that modern mechanical invention, instead of disenchanting the universe, had really afforded the means of exploring its marvels the more surely.  Instead of going round the world with a rifle, for the purpose of killing something – or with a bundle of tracts, in order to convert somebody – this bold youth simply went round the globe to see the people who were on it; and since he always had something to show them as interesting as anything that they could show him, he made his way among all nations."

Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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