New York: The Century Co, 1902. Burns, M.J. First Edition. Hardcover. First printing in book form, duodecimo size, 264 pp. Near fine. Item #19053101
Jack London's (1876-1916) fourth published work (October of 1902) and his only juvenile novel, first published in St. Nicholas Magazine a few months earlier (July 1902 - hence their name being on the book's title page). Although London would not become truly famous until publication of "The Call of the Wild" in July of 1903, he was already well-known through his newspaper reporting and short stories.
"The Cruise of the Dazzler" is a semi-autobiographical account of a young man who quits school and joins the crew of an oyster pirate boat plying the waters of San Francisco Bay. In fact London did own a boat called "Razzle Dazzle" and was involved in the theft of oysters, although he later worked guarding the same waters.
With a total of six illustrations by Milton James Burns (1853-1933) who "was one of America's best-known marine artists and a prolific illustrator....who was a life-long sailor; ...his first venture at sea was with William Bradford on the master's famous 1868 Arctic Expedition. Thereafter, Burns dedicated himself to marine art and spent most of his life as an adventurer. In 1871, he and a group of fellow 'bohemians' founded the Salmagundi Club." He would eventually become friends with Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington, among other artists, eventually becoming a partner in a lithography business. (n.b., quote and information from the web site of America-Scoop.)
___DESCRIPTION: Cream coloured boards with decorations on the front in orange, green and black, the bottom half of the front board with an illustration of a boat which is bordered in black, this is further bordered with the signs of the zodiac, title in orange on both the front board and spine which also has ornamental designs which mirror the front board, black and white frontis by M.J. Burns of two boards in a storm, decorative title page in green and black, five additional illustrations by Burns throughout; duodecimo size (7.5" by 5.25"), pagination: [i-ii: half-title, blank], frontis, [iii-iv: title and copyright pages], v-vii Contents and Illustrations, [viii: blank], [1-2], 3-250 (note: this copy with both the front and rear flyleaves which Sisson included in the pagination).
___CONDITION: Overall near fine and unusally clean for this London title; the lettering and designs on the front board crisp and sharp, the corners perfectly straight and completely without rubbing, the text block is strong and square with solid hinges (a professional restorer re-sewed the binding which is now strong and tight, name available upon request), the interior mostly clean and bright, the only prior owner marking being a gift inscription in pencil on the front free endpaper, "Leslie from Frank / Xmas 1902"; a bare minimum of wear to the cloth at the head and tail of the spine, some very minor discoloration to the cream-coloured front and rear boards and some wear to the colour lettering and decoration on the spine, an old bookseller price on the front paste-down in pencil and a vintage bookseller's ticket ("Smith Brothers...Oakland, Cal.") on the rear paste-down, while mostly clean the text pages with some scattered toning spots, of which a few are in the text but do not obsure it. Even with these few issues, this is a lovely copy in near fine condition.
___CITATION: Sisson and Martens page 8, Woodbridge page 34.
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