Lot 31: Jack London's Snark association copy

PBA Galleries

2015-06-29 14:14:01


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Lot 31: Author: London, Jack. Title: The Cruise of the Snark - with a letter from Jack London to John Myers O'Hara. Place Published: New York. Publisher: The Macmillan Company. Date Published: 1911. Description: xiv, 340, (2), + (4) ad pp. Illustrated with a color frontispiece of the Snark and 120 plates from photographs. 19. 6x12. 7 cm (7½x5"), blue-green cloth lettered in gilt, color pictorial cover label, top edge gilt. First Edition. John Myers O'Hara's copy, accompanied by a letter from Jack London to O'Hara, and with transcripts of the letter and others copied by O'Hara into the book, a clipped signature of London, etc. The letter from London, written on six half-sheets of notepaper, is dated "On Board the Snark, 126o - 20' W. Long. , 6o 47' N. Lat. , Nov. 24, 1907," and begins by observing "Correspondence is rather slow upon the Snark. I haven't received a letter for over two months. . By an accident, we lost half our water supply, & all hands have been on 'allowance' till yesterday. Last night we were smashed by a series of squalls, the result of which, to us, is 210 gallons of rainwater now reposing in our tanks. When I get back to U. S. , I want to put my list(?) and a few words into a 'Call of the Wild' and send it to you. We'll surely get together - I'll not promise in the East, but there's a ranch in California, in the Valley of the Moon, where I'd like to see you rest for a few months. Consider this a standing invitation. ." The envelope in which this letter was sent to O'Hara in Illinois, with San Francisco postmark where it had evidently been sent for mailing, has been glued to the front pastedown. The letter is now in a separate sleeve. John Myers O'Hara, scion of a wealthy Chicago family, was a poet, lawyer and stock broker, and translator of the classics. He has transcribed this London letter, as well as another dated Solomon Islands, Oct. 31, 1908, and also an inscription London made in a copy (his "desk copy") of the Call of the Wild for O'Hara, onto the front free endpaper, flyleaves and half-title of the book, and on the back of the frontispiece is mounted a clipped signature of Jack London (from a check), and his Wolf Head bookplate. O'Hara's ownership signature, dated Aug. 27, 1911, is on the front free endpaper. An interesting association copy with contemporary transcriptions of Jack London letters. The book itself is London's own account of his abortive circumnavigation in company with Charmian in his sailing ship "Snark." BAL 11929; Sisson & Martens, p. 57. The letter, and apparently the book as well, were on exhibit at the Huntington Library from September 19, 1998, to January 11, 1999, part of "The Wisdom of the Trail: Jack London, Author and Adventurer". Front hinge a little weak, still a nice, bright copy in nearly fine condition, in custom-made slipcase and chemise. PBA Galleries' Sale 563: Fine Literature with the Wayne Martin Collection of Jack London Thursday, 25th June 2015 Estimate: $4000-6000
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