New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1939. First Edition. Hardcover. First printing, octavo size, 395 pp., signed by Joan London. Near fine / good +. Item #21062402
Jack (John Griffith) London (1876-1916) and his stories remain widely read today; beginning his career as a newspaper reporter, he gained fame with the publication of "The Call of the Wild" in July of 1903, and would eventually write over twenty novels and numerous short stories before dying tragically young from complications arising from previous illnesses, including scurvy.
This work, written by London's oldest daughter (by his first marriage), was only made possible with the permission of Charmian London (Jack's second wife); since Jack had left everything to Charmian in his will, even his daughters had no right to access his papers (held at the Huntington Library) without Charmian's permission.
Joan London (1901-1971) shared, and in fact far exceeded, her father's socialist leanings. She visited Russia in 1930, and upon returning to San Francisco became involved in a group committed to Trotskyism. Working for the California Labor Federation in SF during the 40s she was involved in the Communist Party USA (in Berkeley) and earned the honor of a "fat FBI file" kept on her (n.b., per Wiki).
This copy inscribed by Joan London "To Perry B. Lamson, with greetings and best wishes. Joan London" and is dated October, 1939 (the year of publication). Perry Lamson (1900-1990) served as a Colonel in the US Army during WWII and Korea; one does wonder how the paths of a US Army Colonel and an ardent socialist crossed, but we can only speculate.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full natural linen over boards, the stylized initials "JL" flanking a pen debossed and stamped in brown on the front board, line drawings and a "label" in red with black lettering all stamped onto the spine, top edge stained red, author's inscription as set forth above on the front free endpaper, frontis a half-tone reproduction of a black and white photograph of Jack London, "First Edition" stated on the copyright page (which according to Zempel indicates the first printing), vintage bookseller's ticket on the rear pastedown (Newbegin's, San Francisco); octavo size (8 5/8" by 6 1/8"), pagination: [i-viii]  2-387. Publisher's dust jacket has the original price of $3.00, front panel and spine mimics linen cloth with brown vignettes and brown and red lettering, frontis photograph on the rear panel with "Jack London" below in red, front flap a summary of the book, rear flap a publisher's ad for a different work.
___CONDITION: Volume is near fine, with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; some toning to the endpapers, else fine. The unclipped dust jacket a bit better than good, all component parts present and attached, however with overall edgewear including some loss at the head and tail of the spine and the lower edge of the back panel (no loss of text) and two large closed tears on the back panel, the spine sunned and minor overall dustiness.
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