"IN REMEMBRANCE OF OLD SOLOMON ISLANDS DAYS AND OF THE LAST WILD, HEROIC, PERISHING DAYS OF PENDUFFRYN": SUPERBLY INSCRIBED FIRST EDITION OF JACK LONDON'S WHEN GOD LAUGHS
LONDON, Jack. When God Laughs and Other Stories. New York: Macmillan, 1911. Octavo, original pictorial green cloth. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
First edition of this collection of Jack London stories, wonderfully inscribed and signed by London in the year of publication on the front free endpaper: "Dear Darby: In remembrance of old Solomon Islands days and of the last wild, heroic, perishing days of Penduffryn. Affectionately yours, Jack London. Glen Ellen, California, March 10, 1911."
This fantastic presentation copy is inscribed by London to George Darbishire, a business partner of Tom Harding, with whom Jack and Charmian London stayed on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1908. Harding owned a 500-acre copra plantation known as the Penduffryn Plantation. Charmian London once wrote: "Darbishire is a big blond Englishman, vastly tall, very pink, and so lovable a personality that to shake his long, kind, freckled hand is to find a friend." "In 1911 London published more short stories than in any other year, nearly thirty, in addition to the novel Adventure… There was a potpourri of stories on various themes in When God Laughs, and two volumes of South Sea stories and reminiscences, South Sea Tales and The Cruise of the Snark. It was a protean output, even for London" (Haley, Wolf: The Lives of Jack London, 273). London mentions Penduffryn Plantation in The Cruise of the Snark. Sisson, 51-52. Woodbridge 82. BAL 11926.
Inner paper hinges reinforced with paper. Faint evidence of damp affecting slightly rubbed cloth and outer edge of text block only, interior generally clean. A very good copy, with a superb inscription and association.