Letter to Charmian Kitteridge from Jack London upon his return from Japanese
Russian War, about his divorce of Bessie London.
July 6, 1904.
The fight is on. Am too busy to write love. Knew that George (Sterling) had
telegraphed you. Had no time to write. Bess is adamant. Tell you the case in
a nutshell. Bess brought suit before the year was up. Couldn't therefore bring
suit on ground of desertion, so brought it on ground of cruelty, etc, etc. She
wanted to bring suit in order to get injunctions on all I possess, before I
arrived on the spot, and so hold all I possess tied up until full year elapsed,
when she could bring suit for separation and maintenance and have court give her
a whack at all I possess in division of community property.
She never intended to press suit for divorce, for she will not give me my
She offered to withdraw complaint for divorce if I would contract to buy her
land and build her a home and give regular monthly support. When 1 asked for
freedom she said nay. ■''hen I said nay. Ihere it stands.
Now this is the case, *or the first time in my life I have a couple or four
thousand dollars above my debts. She intends fighting for cash. You know I
don't give a whoop for money. She has started the expense of law, I'll help run
up said expense of law. Result, neither she nor I shall see a penny of it. I he
several thousand will be dribbled out amoungst the lawyers.
My English publishers have failed, all my American publishers have injunctions
served upon them, likewise the Examiner, the Central Bank, the Spray, my books,
Now there is to be no suit for divorce——from persent indications. You
were not mentioned by name in complaint for divorce, (said complaint being only a
bluff anyway). I see no reason why you should not return to California, for my
troubles with Bess are bound to continue for a weary long while. You may crop up
in the midst of it, you may never be mentioned. But elect to do as you see fit.