A Swim for Life: the true story of one of the author's experiences
New York: Orange Judd Company, 1904. First Edition. Stated limited edition of 1000 copies, this copy unnumbered. Oblong octavo, 83pp. Cloth covers with string tie binding. All but the title page printed recto-only. Various styles of illustration, including engravings by Robert H. Roth and several photographs. Very Good to Near Fine condition with mild soil.
An afternoon sail with three men turns as their sloop capsizes off Marblehead, Massachusetts, claiming one life. Myrick's narrative includes his interior dialogue while trying not to drown—removing his clothing, conserving his energy—and the mix of tragedy and heroics that comes with surviving such a seaman's tale. Published after the early death of one of the two boys who rescued him from the storm, it's an uncharacteristically personal work by a man better known as the publisher of Good Housekeeping, his agricultural writing and political involvement with farmers' causes.
Association copy, inscribed over 15 years after the original publication (appears to be February 1921, with the "1" covering an accidental "0") to the author's colleague Charles S. Plumb (1860-1939), another author of agricultural texts who published with Orange Judd Co. and shared Myrick's enthusiasm for Western Americana (Myrick's collection is held at the Huntington Library).
From his obituary in The New York Times (July 7, 1927):
Herbert Myrick was born at Arlington, Mass., Aug. 20, 1860, and was educated at the Massachusetts Agricultural College and Boston University. He had been President of the American Education Press and publisher of many pertodicals whose primary circulation was among the farmers and their wives. Among these were The Dakota Farmer, Orange Judd Farmer, Farm and Home and The American Agriculturist. He also had been publisher of Good Housekeeping from 1900 to 1911 and founded the Good Housekeeping Institute.
He advocated that the farmer take an active part in politics for the solution of his own problems and founded in 1901 the Farmers' Political League, the beginning of the Agricultural bloc which in later years was to become a source of difficulty for politicians. Among the forward looking plans which he supported and fought for in his publications were a system of cooperative dairy-ing, tariff on farm products, Federal system of agricultural experiment stations, rural free delivery, cooperative buying and selling by farmers, the Federal Farm Loan act, and other ideas intended to improve the conditions of the farmer and to enlarge his educational opportunities."