John Stempien and I are pleased and deeply excited to announce that we have signed a contract with Comstock Publishing, an imprint of Cornell University Press, for publication of a completely new anthology of writing by Liberty Hyde Bailey, tentatively titled Marvels at our Feet: A Gardener's Companion.
Marvels at our Feet collects the best and most accessible literary garden writings of Liberty Hyde Bailey, the Father of Modern Horticulture. Despite Bailey's huge influence as a journalistic popularizer of amateur gardening from the late nineteenth century through the first half of the twentieth, and despite the rise in recent years of widespread interest in gardening, such an anthology has never been compiled until now. The essays and poems that make up the collection include work from Bailey's most beautiful literary and philosophical books, as well as essays from periodicals that have never been published in book form and even an essay that Bailey read over nationalized radio in 1930 and has never before appeared in print. The result of about a decade of research and collecting on the part of the editors, Marvels at our Feet: A Gardener's Companion will provide the best introduction available to those unfamiliar with Bailey's writing, and for the seasoned Bailey enthusiast it will offer a trove of delightful and unexpected marvels.
"Marvels at our Feet: A Gardener's Companion makes a major contribution to literatures across a range of fields, including horticulture, environmental studies, gardening, natural resources, and philosophy. The writings it includes are a gift to our troubled world. They are an antidote to the materialist, consumerist frenzy and emptiness of our time, just as they were in Bailey's. There is no other book like it in print." -Professor Scott Peters, Bailey scholar and author of Democracy and Higher Education: Traditions and Stories of Civic Engagement
Image: Liberty Hyde Bailey, "Western Pride" Chrysanthemum, cyanotype photograph, in the Liberty Hyde Bailey Papers, Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Collections 21-2-3342, accessible here.