A MODERN UTOPIA. Jack London, Wells.

A MODERN UTOPIA. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905. Octavo, pp. [i-iv] v-xi [xii] 1-392 [393] [394-396: blank] [note: last leaf is a blank], seven inserted plates with illustrations by Edmund J. Sullivan, original decorated blue cloth, front and spine panels stamped in gold, t.e.g., other edges untrimmed. First edition, U.S. issue. The U.S. issue is made up from sheets of the British Chapman & Hall edition with leaf headed "Books by H. G. Wells" and title leaf (conjugate leaves) tipped in. The title leaf is dated 1905 on recto and "COPYRIGHT 1904 by / CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS" on verso. "PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, LONDON AND BECCLES" is printed at base of page [393]. A presentation copy with signed inscription by Jack London to his friend George Sterling on the front free endpaper: "Dear Greek -- with love / from the / Wolf. / Glen Ellen, / July 4, 1905." After he published THE TESTIMONY OF THE SUNS AND OTHER POEMS (1903), George Sterling (1869-1926), became a leading figure among the Bohemians. In 1905 Sterling built a home in Carmel, California, and helped substantially in founding an art colony there. It soon flourished, especially after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. In 1907 Sterling published "A Wine of Wizardry" in COSMOPOLITAN. With this poem Sterling gained national renown. Russ Brissenden, the poet in London's MARTIN EDEN (1909), is partly based on Sterling. The third of Wells's four books on modern socialism and his predictions on the social and economic world, preceded by ANTICIPATIONS (1901) and MANKIND IN THE MAKING (1903) and followed by NEW WORLDS FOR OLD (1908). "THE FOOD OF THE GODS was followed in 1905 by an explicit attempt at utopian design, A MODERN UTOPIA, whose presentation is a peculiar amalgam of essay and fiction. In an introductory note Wells offers it as the concluding work in a series begun with ANTICIPATIONS (1901) and continued with MANKIND IN THE MAKING (1903), a polemic on the appropriate nurture and education of the citizens of the future. It presents an image of an alternate world (incarnated for convenience on a hypothetical planet 'far in the deeps of space') run by the New Republicans of ANTICIPATIONS, here formalized into an Order of Samurai. Of the other developing social classes mentioned in ANTICIPATIONS, 'the element of irresponsible property' has been eliminated; the 'non-productive' speculators have been banished; and the poor inessential toilers are a dwindling minority of educational failures." - Stableford, Scientific Romance in Britain 1890-1950, p. 70 "The impact of A MODERN UTOPIA was enormous, "winning him new admiration from such intellectuals as Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and William James, who said he had 'given a shove to the practical thought of the next generation.'" - Jack Williamson, H. G. Wells: Critic of Progress, pp. 121-5. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 2-168; (1981) 1-177; (1987) 1-101; and (1995) 1-101. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 799. Gerber, Utopian Literature (1973), p. 144. Lewis, Utopian Literature, p. 206. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 227. Negley, Utopian Literature 1178. Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, p. 133. Stableford, Scientific Romance in Britain 1890-1950, pp. 70-1. Survey of Science Fiction Literature III, pp. 1429-34. Wells 25. Hammond E5. Wells Society 25. Short closed tear in fore-edge margin of front free endpaper, a tight, bright, nearly fine copy of a scarce issue of this book. A wonderful association copy; just the sort of reading material an ardent Socialist would give to his liberal Bohemian friend. (#164559).

Price: $2,750.00

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