296 pages
6 x 9
Reissued 2003


Ship outside US
by Walter Nordhoff [bio]

On the night of his 104th birthday, Don Juan Obrigón—tall and straight, with hair still flaming red—prepares to tell his life story to assembled relatives and guests. The story he will tell describes his travels as a boy of twelve in 1810, when he accompanied the Spanish viceroy of Baja California from the southern tip of Baja California to Monterey.

The Journey of the Flame is that rare treasure, an artfully imagined work of fiction that is based on meticulous research and brings life to the study of history. Here are the manners, textures, and tones of Spanish California, transcending all stereotypes. A slow ride through exotic territory the book is rich in leisurely pacing and dense detail (entertaining a child by getting a desert rat to inflate the egg-sized food pouch under his ears!) that truly capture another time and reveal another world.

Considered a masterpiece of California literature by an entire generation of historians, geographers, and literary critics, The Journey of the Flame has been long out of print but is now available in a new and beautifully designed California Legacy edition.

"A volume long to be treasured and to be reread with unaltered delight." —Saturday Review of Literature, 1933