"FONDLY AND AFFECTIONATELY THINE": FIRST EDITION OF WHITE FANG, INSCRIBED BY JACK LONDON
LONDON, Jack. White Fang. New York: Macmillan, 1906. Small octavo, original pictorial light blue cloth, pictorial endpapers.
First edition, second issue (as usual), of London's timeless classic, inscribed by him from his beloved Northern California ranch: "Dear Kittie: Fondly and affectionately thine. Jack London, Glen Ellen, Nov. 15, 1910," a handsome copy illustrated with eight color plates by Charles Livingston Bull.
Jack London saw "nature both as a scene of adventure and as a haven. He identified with the wild, and especially with his wolflike dogs" (Cambridge History VI:61). Intended as a companion to Call of the Wild (1903), White Fang tells the story of a savage part-wolf dog domesticated through the kindness of its new owner. London inscribed this copy from his beloved Northern California ranch, which was the inspiration and setting for several novels and short stories. His inscription is dated six months after he and his wife Charmian mourned the the death of their newborn daughter, Joy. Second issue, as usual, with cancel title page. Copies of the first issue are quite scarce. While the leading bibliographies do not discuss the issue of the cancel, most believe that the title pages of all copies of White Fang were replaced prior to release. This is because both the cancel and integral title pages contain identical text. Thus, the bound copies would have received a cancel and become the second issue, while the unbound copies, in which the leaf simply could have been replaced, would have become the first issue. Presumably, most copies had already been bound at the time a title page error was identified, making the so-called first issue quite scarce. Without scarce original dust jacket. Four pages of publisher's advertisements at rear. Woodbridge 46. BAL 11896. Small inked initials to rear pastedown.
Interior fresh with small expertly repaired tear to one leaf affecting text but not readability (9), expert reinforcement to inner paper hinges; minimal edge-wear to original cloth with white paint of the illustration almost entirely intact, much nicer than usual. A desirable near-fine inscribed copy.