Monday, May 07, 2007

Willard Price: Travel and Other Writing

Like The Adventure Series, Price’s travel writing can seem a little dated now. Many would read it as full of patronising attitudes and misplaced zeal for the wonders of ‘modern’ technology, agricultural technique, and economics in the Developing World. However, what Price provides is a snap-shot of liberal white opinion about the ‘outside world’ in the US of the 1950s and 60s, there is a breathless enthusiasm about it all. Whilst he may not always think through the potential consequences of his recommendations for indigenous peoples, it is clear that he has a deeply-felt respect for them. It is also debatable whether any but the most able minds of his generation could have understood what those consequences might be as we understand them today. Like his children’s books, his travel writing zips along at a rate of knots and is very much the story of his own ‘adventure’.

This section consists of bibliographical notes about Price’s travel books and his one non ‘Adventure Series’ novel. Price travelled in a way few people in the world could have managed at the time, his two autobiographical books show his progress between 1951 (Adventure in 70 Lands) and 1982 (Adventure in 148 Lands). I would appear that most of Price’s travel writing was published by both John Day Co. and Heinemann in the US and UK respectively. However, a number of his earlier books about Japan were also published there. There are a number of titles on this list which might, on closer inspection, turn out to be various national titles given to the same couple of books. I have noted this where I suspect it may be the case.



Ancient Peoples at New Tasks. Interchurch Press (Missionary Education Movement of the US and Canada), New York, 1918. 12mo., xi+208pp., 16 b/w photo plates and 3 page list of mission boards. Incl. bibliography. Dark grey parchment boards with orange minaret illustration and titles. Frontispiece captioned ‘The once proud Incas are now slaves. Will modern industry still further enslave them and other ancient peoples of the world, or will it prove a liberating force?’

The Negro Around the World. George H. Doran (African Methodist Episcopal Church), New York, 1925. 75pp., with pictorial maps by George Annaud. Blue Cloth with gilt titles.

Rip Tide in the South Seas. Heinemann, London, 1936. 8vo., xiv+323pp., map on eps., b/w plates. Brown cloth, gilt sailing boat illustration and titles.

The South Sea Adventure: Through Japan’s Equatorial Empire. Hokuseido Press, Tokyo, 1936. xiv+313pp., b/w photo plates., maps on eps. Tan cloth, blue titles and decoration. May be the Japanese issue of Rip Tide in the South Seas. Issued in the US as Pacific Adventure Reynall & Hitchcock, New York, [1936]. 317pp., with 48 illustrations.

Japan Reaches Out. Angus & Robertson, 1938. 8vo., xii+322pp., maps on eps. Orange Cloth. Graphic jacket with Japanese ‘rising sun’ motif.

Japan’s New Horizon. Hokuseido Press, Tokyo, 1938. 12mo., viii+340pp., plates. Yellow Cloth. Sounds like this may be Japanese issue of Japan Reaches Out.

Children of the Rising Sun. Reynall & Hitchcock, New York, [1938]. xiv+316pp. Brown cloth. May be US issue of Japan Reaches Out.

Where Are You Going Japan. Heinemann, London, 1938. 8vo., xvii+369pp. May be UK issue of Japan Reaches Out.

Barbarian. A Novel. John Day Co., New York, 1941. Also, Heinemann, London, 1942. 8vo. 272pp.

Japan Rides the Tiger. John Day Co., New York, 1942. x+228pp., b/w photos. Red cloth black titles. 2nd imp incorporates ‘section of the authors Children of the Rising Sun’ no information about whether this material was incorporated in 1st imp..

Japan’s Islands of Mystery… with maps by the author. Heinemann, London, June 1944. 8vo., 225pp., blue cloth and silver titles. Second impression in November of same year. Released by Heinemann in paperback in the same year and reprinted the following year by The Publishers’ Guild (Guild Books no. 219). Clearly a book of extreme topical interest written in part to keep readers abreast of the war in the Pacific. Contains brief sections from Rip Tide in the South Seas.

Japan and the Son of Heaven. Duell, Sloan & Pearce, New York, 1945. 8vo., vii+231pp.
Key to Japan. Heinemann, London, 1946. 8vo., vi+283pp., yellow cloth, with 110 sketches by the author. Also, John Day Co., New York, 1946. Based on the notion that in the ten years following surrender, some one million Americans would visit Japan, this book is therefore intended as a guide to local culture, locales, customs etc.

Roving South: Rio-Grande to Patagonia. John Day Co., New York, 1948. 8v0., viii+373pp., grey cloth with green lettering, maps on eps., with photos and drawings by the author.

I Cannot Rest from Travel: An Autobiography of Adventure in Seventy Lands. Heinemann, London, 1951. 8vo., xiv+313pp., 8 b/w photographic plates.

Journey by Junk. John Day Co., New York, 1954. 8vo., 317pp, with maps and photos by the author. Also, Heinemann, London, 1954. 8vo., 223pp., black cloth.

Adventures in Paradise. Tahiti and Beyond. John Day Co., New York, 1955. 8vo., 309pp., black cloth and green titles, b/w photos, maps. Also as Adventures in Paradise. Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji. Heinemann, London, 1956. 8vo., xii+245pp., orange cloth and silver titles.

Roaming Britain: 8,000 Miles Through England, Scotland and Wales. John Day Co., New York, 1958. 8vo., 308pp., illustrated with map and photos by the author.

The Amazing Amazon. Heinemann, London, 1952. 8vo., 220pp. Also, John Day Co., New York, 1952. 8vo., 305pp., orange cloth and black titles and decorations. Also, Heinemann [The Vanguard Library No. 27], London, 1954. 8vo., 244pp., tan cloth.

Incredible Africa. Heinemann, London, 1961. 8vo., vii+213pp., maps and plates, green cloth and gilt titles. Also, John Day Co., New York, 1962. 8vo., vi+213pp., black cloth and gilt.
"Incredible Africa is the fascinating record of a round-the-continent journey made by Willard Price, well known as one of the most experienced and stimulating of contemporary travel-writers. It is also a timely and lively investigation of the political and social changes which are transforming parts of Africa at lightning pace. The book is divided into two parts: the text and a section containing 93 superb photographs. Together they illustrate with startling clarity the extreme contrasts between the ancient and modern ways of life which exist side by side all over Africa. "

The Amazing Mississippi. Heinemann, London, 1962. 8vo., 188pp., with plates, blue cloth with gilt. Also, John Day Co., New York, 1963. 8vo., 188pp, blue cloth with gilt.

Rivers I Have Known. John Day Co., New York, 1965. 8vo., 314pp., maps and line drawings.
Contents: Why rivers are important - Mighty and mysterious Amazon - Misadventure on the Nile - River Wonder of the world - Canoe on the Congo - Bandits of the Grand Canal - The Sea River by Junk - The Vale of Kashmir - Small boat on the Thames - The Bewitching Rhine - The storied Hudson - Mississippi Miracle

America’s Paradise Lost. John Day Co., New York, 1966. 8vo., 240pp.+[32pp.] of plates, blue cloth with gilt.

Odd Way Round the World. John Day Co., New York, 1969. 8vo., 310pp., maps, b/w photos.

The Japanese Miracle and Peril. Heinemann, London, 1971. 8vo., viii+341pp., red cloth. Also, John Day Co., New York, 1971. 8vo., 337pp., beige cloth with red and gilt.

My Own Life of Adventure. Travels in 148 Lands. Jonathan Cape, London, 1982. 8vo., viii+276pp.,+[12pp.] of plates, 2 maps.

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