“With Respect And Great Pleasure, John Steinbeck”: First
The Grapes Of Wrath,
Inscribed By Steinbeck To His
Close Friend Dr. Thaddeus Martin, With An Autograph Letter
Signed By Steinbeck On His Embossed Letterhead
75. STEINBECK, John.
The Grapes of Wrath
. New York, 1939. Octavo,
original pictorial beige cloth, dust jacket.
First edition, first issue, of Steinbeck’s most important novel, his searing
masterpiece of moral outrage and “intense humanity,” winner of the 1940
Pulitzer Prize, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to a
close friend, “For again Dr. St. Martin with respect and great pleasure,
John Steinbeck.” Accompanied by an autograph letter signed by Steinbeck
to Dr. Martin and his wife, penned on Steinbeck’s embossed letterhead
Banned in the year of publication for depicting Kern County
as being unkind to migrants, The Grapes of Wrath encountered subse-
quent friction as far away as Ireland and Turkey due to its anti-corporate
The Grapes of Wrath
is the kind of art that’s poured out of a crucible
in which are mingled pity and indignation… Its power and impor-
tance do not lie in its political insight but in its intense humanity”
(Clifton Fadiman). Recipients Louisiana doctor Thaddeus Martin and
his wife Gladys were good friends with Steinbeck and his second wife
Gwyndolyn Conger. Dr. St. Martin was a world-renowned radiologist
who studied the growth rates in unborn children in the 1920s and 30s.
In 1936, he published the novel
Mme. Toussaint’s Wedding Day,
Steinbeck refers in the accompanying letter. Steinbeck wrote about St.
Travels with Charley:
“There lives my old friend Doctor St.
Martin, a gentle, learned man, a Cajun who has lifted babies and cured
colic among the shell-heap Cajuns for miles around… He makes the
best and most subtle martini in the world by a process approximating
magic.” The accompanying 1943 autograph letter reads, in part: “Dear
Thad & Glad[ys]: The book came this morning and I shall get it off
immediately. I’m sending it to Nunnally Johnson. I hope he will do
something about it…Gwyn will write as soon as she gets her equilibri-
um. Meanwhile thanks again for the book and love to you both. John.”
Nunnally Johnson was an American filmmaker who worked as a writer
and producer on the film versions of
Grapes of Wrath
Moon Is Down
(1943). Book about-fine, bright dust jacket with resto-
ration to edges. A lovely copy with a fantastic association and letter on
Steinbeck’s embossed letterhead.
offensive & immoral