Lot n° 144
1200 - 1500
LONDON JACK (1876-1916).
Autograph letter (minutes?) and signed autograph document (minutes), Oakland (California) 17 December 1913, [to Joseph NOEL ] ; 14 pages in-8, in pencil, 2 pages in-4 format ; 2 lines on 1 page oblong in-12 ; in English.
Jack London rants about investors and colleagues swindling him over the drama rights to The Sea Wolf
Jack London entered into agreements with Joseph Noel, novelist, and George S. Pelton and Ben Stern investors, regarding the dramatic rights to The Sea Wolf. As seen here, London felt as though he was being swindled out of money. In the end, London declares that he holds all the rights to any play or motion picture based on his novel.
“As by all the gods I agree with you. He, poor Noel, is the saddest, abjectest creature who shook down all his friends along every inch of the pike, meanwhile, alas and alack; out of friendship I made an ass of myself, a many times repeated ass, because I gave rope & rope & rope to one, Joseph J. Noel, a voluibly self-asserted friend, who pulled, and continued [to] pull my leg, through many years, to the tune of many thousands of dollars until he hanged himself by his own sad neck [which] in the naked facts of the case were evidently more esteemed by him than by me -- else, how did he get them? And how did I give them? […]
My God, Noel, you missed your vocation. You should never have attempted to shake down your sucker friends who invariably moistened to acquiescence at contact with your tears, you should have gone on the boards. You, who can so deceive yourself, could have deceived any audience to the tune of a thousand dollars for every dollar you tear-soaked and blood-sucked out of your sucker friends.”
In the autograph document, London writes: “I hereby assign to Joseph Noel for value received all financial interest possessed by me, in the stage play to be produced before audiences directly by living actors entitled The Sea Wolf and based upon my book The Sea Wolf: It is distinctly un
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