CONRAD, Joseph (1857-1924) -- LONDON, Jack [John Griffith London] (1876-1916). Typewritten letter signed by London (a carbon copy) to Cloudesley [Johns], Honolulu, 3 June 1915, one page, 4to.
An ecstatic reaction to Joseph Conrad's new novel: 'First of all, whatever you do, read Conrad's latest ---- VICTORY. Read it, if you have to pawn your watch to buy it. Conrad has exceeded himself. He must have deliberately set himself the challenge, and it is victory for him, because he has skinned EBB TIDE. He has made a woman out of nothing ... out of the sweepings of life, and he has made her woman glorious. He has painted love with all love's illusion ... himself, Conrad, devoid of illusion'. London continues, on the realism of the characters, and the 'love and sex which is, correct, cursedly correct', and with further praise for the work.
The recipient of the letter, Cloudesley Johns, a post-office worker in California who had ambitions to write, was a protégé and important long-term correspondent of Jack London. The morning after London had written to Johns he sent a fan letter to Conrad, declaring 'I never dreamed to write you. But Victory has swept me off my feet and I am inclosing [sic] herewith a carbon copy of a letter written to a friend at the end of this lost night's sleep' (4 June 1915, in The Letters, ed. E. Labor etc, 1988). Conrad responded warmly a few weeks later. Ebb Tide, R.L. Stevenson's novel set among Pacific Islands, was published in 1894.
From 1905 Jack London's letters were typed by his wife, Charmian Kittredge, and the present letter is published from her carbon copy in the Merrill Library, Utah State University, with a postscript not given here. The present carbon copy is presumably the one which London signed and sent to Conrad.