Item #14924 THE ROAD. Jack London.


Illustrated. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1907. 2 pp undated ads. Original light grey cloth decorated in black.

First Edition, which consisted of only 5,360 copies -- one of the smaller printings of a Jack London first edition. Many of the illustrations are actual photographs. THE ROAD harkens back to Jack's teen-ager days as a wandering tramp...

Ignoring the warnings of his friends that he would add to his notoriety, he published a series of newspaper sketches about his time as a tramp. They were later collected into a short book, THE ROAD... He chose to make himself a sort of knowing Huckleberry Finn, the hero of a new type of folk novel that was to inspire Dos Passos, Orwell, and Kerouac to imitate his example.

The chapters "Pinched" and "The Pen" are especially valuable as Jack's account of his 1894 arrest for vagrancy in Buffalo, with imprisonment for thirty days. Once in jail, he found himself in a nightmare more terrible than any of his dreams. Later, in THE ROAD, he would refuse to describe in detail what happened to him in the penitentiary... He had learned, as a sailor and a tramp and a prisoner, to be tolerant of homosexuality; but he remained a woman's man and never seems to have slept voluntarily with men. [Sinclair]

The binding design is by Decorative Designers; this copy is in the secondary (and scarcer) binding, stamped in black only, and with the top edge of the leaves plain. Condition is fine -- remarkably clean for such light-colored cloth. Sisson & Martens p. 38; Blanck 11906. Item #14924

Price: $250.00

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