During July, August, and September of 1937, Sloan made sixteen etchings illustrating W. Somerset Maugham's novel, 'Of Human Bondage.' The commission was given to Sloan in April 1937 by George Macy, director of the Limited Editions Club of New York. The club was devoted to producing fine illustrated editions of well-known books.
'Of Human Bondage' was issued in a two-volume set, in an edition of 1,500 copies. Each of the two volumes contains eight original etchings by Sloan. The printing of all of the etchings was done by Charles Furth in New York. The prints are in black ink on putty-white rag paper made by the Worthy Paper Co., specifically for this edition.
A special artist's edition of 25 was also printed by White for Sloan's own use (subsequent to the printing for the books) using a heavy cream wove paper with a mesh patterning and a star watermark, and without captions. The prints for the artist's edition were all signed by Sloan - the book prints were not, but the colophon at the end of the second volume of each set was, see: Morse 1969, p. 312.
Volume 2, facing p. 718. Original caption from book: "... at the corner of Oxford Street she ... crossed over to a music-hall.'
Mildred in Oxford Street
Inscription: In plate at lower left: 'John Sloan '37'; in graphite at bottom left: '1st state'
Ernest Shapiro; Donor: Ernest Shapiro
Morse 1969, 295. i/ii
Peter Morse John Sloan Prints A Catalogue Raisonné of the Etchings, Lithographs, and Posters. New Haven and London, 1969, cat. no. 295. i, p. 328, ill.