London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1887. First edition. Some sunning and soiling to cloth. Light rubbing to extremities. Dark brown coated endpapers. Light toning inside. A very good copy of a book that is scarce in commerce. Publisher’s blue cloth titled in gilt and ruled in black. Octavo. vii, 170,  pp. Item #17099
Isabel F. Randall (1860 – 1933) lived in Montana between 1884 and 1886, when she returned to England and published her collection of letters on her American experience. From the preface: “Letters were written to friends at home by a young bride who went out with her husband immediately after her marriage. They are a faithful and unvarnished Record of a Settler’s Life. We find in them a description of the daily record of work. There were hardships to bear, and struggles to be made. What we should chiefly gather from the Letters is that the firmness, and determination, and courage which to form the English character will carry even those who come from the comforts of an English home well through the hardships and the struggles,” (pp. v-vi).
In the foreword to a 2004 University of Oklahoma Press edition of the present work, Shirley A. Leckie writes: “Many foreign travelers published accounts of their visits to the American West, but Randall was one of the few European women to write about the western experience from the inside. In 1884 Randall and her husband settled on a ranch in Montana hoping to make their fortune in the livestock boom. Randall’s letters home to England describe the practical affairs of daily life, rural social interactions, and the natural world around her. Her letters are cheerful, but they also suggest why the Randalls ultimately failed to achieve financial success.” Howes R49. Adams, Herd 1860.