MOON-FACE and Other Stories [inscribed by London]. Jack London.
MOON-FACE and Other Stories [inscribed by London].

MOON-FACE and Other Stories [inscribed by London].

New York: The Macmillan Company, 1906. 4 pp undated ads. Original dark blue cloth decorated in white, green and gilt.

First Edition, consisting of 8,400 copies (preceded only by a pre-publication copyright issue). The best-known story in this collection is "Planchette" -- in which the spirit of a woman's dead father returns to kill her lover; it showed that Jack had evidently not outgrown his mother's belief in evil spirits.

By the time MOON-FACE came out, Jack had journeyed to the Far East to cover the Russo-Japanese War for the Hearst organization -- at which he tried to emulate the Great White Scribe of the period, Richard Harding Davis. He badly injured an ankle on in a leaping game with the other correspondents on board ship: "It was the beginning of a morbid worry about his physical condition, a long anxiety that would end only with his death" [Sinclair].

He returned to California to discover that his wife had attached his Hearst earnings in her suit for divorce (Bess ultimately agreed to a divorce on the grounds of desertion, after he offered to build a home in Piedmont for her and their two daughters).

This is a very good-plus copy, bright but with minor wear at the extremities. Sisson & Martens p. 28; Blanck 11895.

It is a presentation copy inscribed by Jack London on the front free endpaper just after publication, to a close California friend, "Dear Johannes: | And there isn't a detestable Indian within the covers of this book. Now will you be good? But I know you won't because -- well, because you are Johannes, and because the quality of your gray matter is no improvement upon that of the ancient Greeks. | With love, | [signed] Jack London | [on opposite page:] Glen Ellen, Calif. | Oct. 3, 1906." Johannes Reimers [1858-1953] was born in Norway but had immigrated before 1883 into California, where in 1902 he and Jack London had first met at a birthday party given for Jack by Anna Strunsky. Reimers attained fame as a painter, but he was also a landscape architect (for example for parks surrounding depots of the Santa Fe Railway), and a writer who also wrote reviews, including one on THE CALL OF THE WILD. Reimers later supervised the planting of trees, vines, and shrubs surrounding the doomed Wolf House (planning began in 1906, construction began in 1910, and it burned in 1913 just before Jack and Charmian could move in). Item #14912

Price: $2,950.00