“INTO THIS WILD-BEAST TANGLE THESE MEN HAD BEEN BORN WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT”: PRESENTATION FIRST EDITION OF THE JUNGLE, WARMLY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR TO HIS PATRON, SOCIAL REFORMER AND PHILANTHROPIST GEOFFREY D. HERRON
SINCLAIR, Upton. The Jungle. New York: Jungle Publishing, 1906. Octavo, original pictorial green cloth.
First edition of Sinclair’s muckraking classic, warmly inscribed by him to his patron, the social reformer and millionaire philanthropist Geoffrey D. Herron: “To Geo. D. Herron with sincerest gratitude & affection from The Author. Princeton N.J. Feb 17th ’06.” The copy belonging to esteemed Sinclair collectors Willard Morse and Elmer Belt with their bookplates.
Sinclair’s famous exposé of Chicago meatpacking practices led to the immediate passage of food-inspection laws, but failed to generate the groundswell of sympathy for the International Socialist cause for the author had hoped would follow. Rohde, 38. This presentation copy is inscribed to George D. Herron “an early important figure in the rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism… His activities in the early twentieth century cast light on the history of socialism in the United States and Europe, and his role as a significant interpreter of Woodrow Wilson to Europe during World War I provides insight into diplomacy of the period. Although he shifted from one cause to another during his varied career, Herron remained an articulate idealist, judging the present in the light of his high hopes, always seeking a new leader or movement to save civilization… Millionaire-socialist George D. Herron subsidized Sinclair while he wrote Manassas: A Novel of the War (1904), a well-researched novel combining history and politics. Its hero, Allan Montague, meets John Brown, Jefferson Davis, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and other Civil War-era figures and is indoctrinated into the neo-abolitionist socialism by a German refugee soldier” (ANB). Although Manassas, like many of Sinclair’s other books, was a commercial flop, it paved the way for Sinclair to write The Jungle, which homed in on the theme of Socialism. Herron eventually fell away from Socialism, disgusted with the reactions of his friends to the outbreak of World War I. Regardless, Upton Sinclair’s writing career arguably remained one of his best investments. Bookplate and inventory log of Willard S. Morse, “a mining executive in the West and Mexico. He was later made a director and member of the executive committee of the American Smelter Securities Company, Chilean Exploration Company, and Braden Copper Company” (USC). Morse was an avid collector of Americana, with particularly large collections of Bret Harte, Howard Pyle, and, of course, Upton Sinclair. His Sinclair material currently resides at the University of Southern California. Bookplate of Dr. and Mrs. Elmer Belt. Dr. Belt was a urologist known for his pioneering work in sexual reassignment surgery, as well as for his spectacular collections of Florence Nightingale, Leonardo da Vinci, and Upton Sinclair, the last of which currently resides as Occidental College Library. Early bookseller advertisement affixed to front blank.
Minor expert reinforcement to front inner hinge, first leaf of text with minor expert repairs, only light rubbing to cloth extremities. An attractive, near-fine presentation/association copy, with an outstanding provenance.