John James Audubon's Journal of 1826

John James Audubon's Journal of 1826

The Voyage to The Birds of America

John James Audubon
Edited and with an introduction by Daniel Patterson
Patricio J. Serrano, Assistant Editor
Foreword by John R. Knott

540 pages
22 illustrations, 3 appendixes, 1 index


June 2017


$29.95 Add to Cart

July 2011


$50.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

John James Audubon’s journal of 1826 details the months leading up to his creation of The Birds of America, one of the greatest works of natural history and art of the nineteenth century. The first accurate transcription of Audubon’s 1826 journal, this edition corrects many of the errors, both intentional and unintentional, found in previous editions. Such errors have obscured the figure of Audubon as a man struggling to realize his professional and artistic dreams.

Author Bio

John James Audubon (1785–1851) is one of America’s premier wildlife artists. His collection of 435 life-sized prints, The Birds of America, is often considered the greatest picture book ever produced. Daniel Patterson is a professor of English at Central Michigan University. He is the editor of The Missouri River Journals of John James Audubon (Nebraska, 2016) and Early American Nature Writers: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Patricio J. Serrano is the official translator of the English/Spanish Language at Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas–ESPE, in Sangolqui, Ecuador. John R. Knott is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Michigan and the author and editor of numerous works, including Imagining the Forest: Narratives of Michigan and the Upper Midwest.


“Thanks to [this] new edition of the personal diary he kept during the voyage [to England], for the first time we are able to enter to some degree into Audubon’s thoughts and feelings during that stressful year [of 1826]”—Robert O. Paxton, New York Review of Books

"Patterson strives to be faithful to the original manuscript, preserving Audubon's original writing and style except where it would lead to misunderstanding. This fidelity allows Audubon's own voice to finally emerge and provides a fascinating look at his interests, drives, and opinions."—C.T. Brundy, Choice

"Now, nearly 200 years later, Audubon is in fact "here, there and all over the Globe." And we are very lucky indeed to have a definitive transcription of the document that describes how that happened."—Anthony Doerr, Boston Globe

“This volume is all the more important because it deals specifically with the creation of [Audubon’s] masterpiece, Birds of America‚ one of the most cherished books ever produced. This edition corrects many of the errors found in earlier published versions.”—Library Journal

“Audubon’s 1826 journal is one of the few surviving portions of his extensive journals, and [this] new, scholarly, and correct transcription is a welcome contribution and will become the standard for Audubon scholars and fans alike.”—Ron Tyler, director of the Amon Carter Museum and author of Audubon’s Great National Work: The Royal Octavo Edition of “The Birds of America”

“[Audubon] proves a memorable observer, who immediately charmed his way as a long-haired ‘American woodsman.’”—John McEwen, Country Life (UK)

"The adventure would continue to unroll after Dec. 31, 1826, when this journal ends, but when Audubon signs off that night, he leaves us feeling that we have accompanied him in the achievement of a masterpiece."—James M. Keller, Pasatiempo – Santa Fe New Mexican

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