With Frontispiece. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1914. 8 pp undated ads. Original orange cloth decorated in blue and grey.
First Edition. This tale, serialized as "Sea Gangsters," involves a mutinous voyage around Cape Horn. London hoped to explain his own "Snark" voyage's failure by laying the blame on Anglo-Saxons' problems with the tropics (per the theories he had read in Woodruff's EFFECTS OF TROPICAL LIGHT ON WHITE MEN). Jack wrote THE ELSINORE soon after he and Charmian returned from his "Millergraph" trip to New York City; their five-month return was on the clipper ship "Dirigo," out of Baltimore around Cape Horn, in mid-1912. (His last acts on shore were to shave his head bald and to have a photograph taken of himself standing by Poe's grave.) Since there was no alcohol on board, Jack went through withdrawal from his dependence upon it, and proclaimed that he was not an alcoholic -- though Charmian knew that would last only until the pain in his kidneys and bowels would again become unbearable.[Sinclair]
Jack, with major gastrointestinal problems of his own, watched the ship's captain slowly die of stomach cancer during the voyage. Charmian became pregnant again, but soon after they arrived back in Glen Ellen she miscarried -- confirming Jack's fear that he would have no son and heir for the ranch. And so began Jack's new "period of disgust."
Though a substantial number of copies was printed, this is a surprisingly uncommon book, especially in nice condition (as the orange covers are prone to soil, and the blue pigment is prone to erosion). This is a very good copy, without much soil but with some of the eroded-blue, mainly at the edges of the spine. Sisson & Martens p. 78; Blanck 11956. Item #14913