Chicago: Herbert S. Stone and Company, 1902.
First Edition. Hardcover. The radical, openly bisexual, avowed feminist, nineteen-year-old Mary Maclane originally entitled this debut memoir "I Await the Devil's Coming," but her publisher demurred. On its publication, The Story of Mary Maclane sparked immediate controversy, from heated censure and dismissal from male critics to fanatic approval from schoolgirls across the country. The memoir sold over one hundred thousand copies in its first month of publication and made her an overnight hit. Maclane's scandalously frank, direct, and self-aware writing about topics such as self-love, her wish to marry the Devil, her sexual attraction to other women, and her dissatisfaction with daily life in Butte, Montana helped usher in the confessional movement in autobiographical writing. Her words remain startlingly fresh today. As author Emily Gould wrote in an article for The Rumpus: "[T]he medium she was born to write in had not yet been invented. MacLane’s public diary entries, with their succinct, crystalline descriptions of quotidian events, would have made her an instant star on the Internet, if the Internet had existed in 1902. She was a blogger avant la lettre, to an extent that is almost eerie."
7 3/4" X 4 7/8". 322pp. Dark red cloth over boards, with upper board and spine lettered in white within decorative white frame and publisher's device in white to rear. Moderate wear to binding, with scattered rubbing, corners turned in, and bumping to extremities. Binding is firm and sound. Pages are clean and unmarked. Photograph of what appears to be a submarine pasted in to front free endpaper. A firm and attractive first printing. Very good. Item #5786