"THAT TREMENDOUS CREATION, WOLF LARSEN": FIRST EDITION OF LONDON'S SEA-WOLF
LONDON, Jack. The Sea-Wolf. New York and London: Macmillan, 1904. Octavo, original pictorial blue cloth, top edge gilt.
First edition of one of London's greatest and most popular books.
Praised by Upton Sinclair as "the true king of our story tellers, the brightest star that flashed upon our skies," Jack London remains one of America's most influential literary voices. As E.L. Doctorow observed, "To this day Jack London is the most widely read American writer in the world." London's Sea-Wolf, based on his six-months as a 17-year-old sailor aboard the schooner Sophia Sutherland, epitomizes the classic London tale, an adventure whose heroes "have to rely on their wits… and they have to do this from scratch every day" (New York Times). To fellow writer Ambrose Bierce, the novel contains London's finest achievement, "that tremendous creation, Wolf Larsen… The hewing out and setting up of such a figure is enough for a man to do in one lifetime." Second issue, as usual (we know of only one copy of the first issue), with the title leaf a cancel and copyright notices dated 1903 and 1904; in BAL binding "A" (no priority established) with gilt-stamped spine. With three pages of publisher's ads at rear. Without extraordinarily rare dust jacket; only one copy in dust jacket is known to exist. Sisson, 19-20. Woodbridge 29. BAL 11882. Owner signature.
Interior clean, expert reinforcement to inner hinges and text block; a bit of soiling to outer edge of front cover, mild toning and wear to spine. An extremely good copy in the original cloth.