After a trip to northwest Wyoming in 1899, Ernest Thompson Seton published Wahb: The Biography of a Grizzly through a series of three articles for Century Magazine, and then the story appeared in book form in 1900.
More than a hundred years later, Buffalo Bill Center of the West Curators Jeremy Johnston and Charles Preston have collaborated on a revised edition of Seton’s book.
Seton’s story details the life of a fictional grizzly bear named Wahb and his struggles to survive in the Yellowstone region. Although classified as fiction, Seton based this story on various bear stories, many from this area. Seton’s work was very popular but raised concerns among other naturalists—including President Theodore Roosevelt—about its accuracy in depicting grizzly bear behavior.
Preston’s and Johnston’s new edition combines “Seton’s classic tale and original illustrations with historical and scientific context for Wahb’s story, providing a thorough understanding of the setting, cultural connections, biology, and ecology of Seton’s best-known book,” writes University of Oklahoma Press, the book’s publisher.