Lot 657: TLS, one page, 8 x 9.75, stamped personal letterhead, March 29, 1906. Letter to Mabel Applegarth, his 'first love' from his late-teen years, including his brief period at UC Berkeley where Mabel was also a student. In part: "Since my return from the lecture-trip I have declined all lecture-propositions with the exception of Oakland, as I have to be down in Oakland now and again and I don't lose any time. To lecture in San Jose would mean the loss of two days' work, and just now I am miles behind in my work…You can explain this to the Unitarian people, and add that I am not lecturing anywhere else outside of Oakland. Charmian joins me in thanking you for your good wishes and congratulations." Double-matted and framed to an overall size of 12.25 x 14.25. In fine condition, with intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature). Accompanied by a business card of Edward Applegarth, Mabel's father. This letter draws two interesting parallels to London's life. The work he refers to is most likely Martin Eden, which was serialized in the Pacific Monthly magazine from September 1908 to September 1909. London modeled one of the main characters, Ruth Morse, after Mabel in the semi-autobiographical tale of romance between a working-class sailor and well-to-do student. While their romance ended early in London's life, the two remained friends until her death in 1915. The letter to which he is responding here probably congratulated the Londons on the forthcoming birth of their child, as Charmian was more than eight months pregnant; sadly, their newborn daughter died of complications after a single day. An excellent letter regarding his busy life as a writer, with an additional fantastic association to one of the key figures in his personal life.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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