Illustrated by P. J. Monahan. New York: The Century Co, 1912. Original blue-grey cloth pictorially decorated in black and cream.
First Edition of this loosely-connected series of tales about a tenderfoot journalist who goes to the Klondike in search of gold and, in his efforts to prove himself to the girl he loves, undergoes a series of dangerous adventures.
There was a humanity and a relaxation in his Smoke Bellew stories and they sold well in book form. Gone was the myth of Alaska, the sense of a superman pitting himself against necessity and the unknown. The deeds of daring of the hero from Harvard were often tongue-in-cheek, more Twain than Melville. [Sinclair]
SMOKE BELLEW was the first book published after his string of titles based upon the Pacific voyage of the "Snark"; he wrote this thereafter, while he and Charmian were settled into their "Beauty Ranch." Jack was still recovering from some of the diseases he had incurred on the trip, and was increasingly relying upon alcohol to assist him. SMOKE BELLEW was also the first of several London titles published by Century: along with his drinking he was developing a sense of suspiciousness and superiority, which led him to mistrust Macmillan and seek out another publisher -- a decision he quickly regretted, since Century would prove to have much less patience or understanding with him.
This is a handsome, nearly fine copy (just a hint of cover soil, but essentially no wear); atypically, the cream-colored moon on the front cover is quite bright and unrubbed. The pictorial cover is by Decorative Designers. Sisson & Martens p. 66; Blanck 11939. Item #12683