and chemistry at the new University of Wisconsin
, and then for years turned explorer of forests, peaks, and glaciers, not writing, at first, except in his Journal
, but forever absorbing and worshiping sublimity and beauty with no thought of literary schemes.
Yet his every-day talk about his favorite trees and glaciers had more of the glow of poetry in it than any talk I have ever heard from men of letters, and his books and Journal
will long perpetuate this thrilling sense of personal contact with wild, clean, uplifted things — blossoms in giant tree-tops and snow-eddies blowing round the shoulders of Alaskan peaks.
Here is a West as far above Jack London
's and Frank Norris
's as the snow-line is higher than the jungle.
The rediscovery of the South
was not so much an exploration of fresh or forgotten geographical territory, as it was a new perception of the romantic human material offered by a peculiar civilization.
Political and social causes had long kept the South
A few writers like Wirt
, had described various aspects of its life with grace or vivacity, but the best picture of colonial Virginia
had been drawn, after all, by Thackeray
, who had merely read about it in books.
Visitors like Fanny Kemble