Van Dresser, William. Hard Cover. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916. 1st Edition. Near Fine.
Illustrated with a frontispiece by William Van Dresser. First edition. Publisher's decorative pictorial blue cloth, with an illustration of a villa and tropical plants in orange, light tan, and black to the front board and spine, lettered in white and gilt. Near fine, with some light wear and rubbing to the extremities, minor rubbing to the front board and spine, former owner's 1916 inscription to the front pastedown, otherwise bright and clean pages. A fresh and attractive copy. BAL 11966. The Little Lady of the Big House is a semi-autobiographical novel featuring the protagonist Dick Forrest, a poetic rancher in California who serves as a representation of the author. The plot tells of the love triangle between Dick, his wife Paula, and their philosopher friend Aaron Hancock. Dick and Paula's relationship is based on the author's marriage to his second wife Charmain. Paula's lover, Aaron, is based on Frank Strawn-Hamilton, London's friend and house-guest who was influential in developing the author's Socialist philosophies. This book is bound in a decorative publisher's binding, the design of which was influenced by the Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic movements, which helped revive the importance of design and beauty to the practice of book binding. This particular binding employs the popular "poster style," made possible by new lithographic and Japanese woodblock printing techniques popularized in the late 1800's in France. Poster style designs encompass the entire front cover, and feature thick lines and narrative scenes.