Chicago: Herbert S. Stone and Company, 1902.
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." Nearly 120 years later, Maclane's writing has found new influence, with this, her first book, forming the basis and inspiration for Emily M. Danforth's gothic lesbian horror novel Plain Bad Heriones.
7 3/4" X 4 7/8". 322pp. Red cloth over boards, with upper board and spine lettered in white within decorative white frame and publisher's device in white to rear. Mild wear to binding, with bumping to extremities, corners turned in, split to bottom corner of upper board, and small faint stain to lower right of upper board. Previous owner's stamp of Martin H. Foss to upper board and "UKA | P.ES" to rear pastedown, along with faint scribble. Binding is firm and sound. Pages are clean and unmarked. This copy has the same copyright information and title page as the first printing; there appears to be first edition point about variations in the color of the cloth binding. This appears to be the undisclosed second printing in the darker of the two cloth colors. Very good. Item #6864