"LUSH, LYRIC… AN ENDORSEMENT OF THE ARTISTIC CALLING": LOVELY COPY OF STEINBECK'S RARE FIRST NOVEL, CUP OF GOLD, 1929 FIRST EDITION, IN EXCEPTIONALLY SCARCE DUST JACKET
STEINBECK, John. Cup of Gold. A Life of Henry Morgan, Buccaneer. With Occasional Reference to History. New York: Robert M. McBride, 1929. Octavo, original yellow cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom cloth chemise and half morocco slipcase. $23,000.
First edition, first issue, of Steinbeck's ambitious first novel, now extraordinarily scarce. An essential addition to any Steinbeck collection.
"Written when Steinbeck was 27 years old and published in an edition of 2476 copies just two weeks before the stock market crashed, Cup of Gold is a historical romance about the life of the pirate Henry Morgan" (Valentine 1). Even more, however, it is a richly allegorical Grail quest, drawing inspiration from such varied sources as Arthurian legend, Greek mythology, Druid lore and old ghost stories. It also offers glimpses of Steinbeck's sense of himself as a young man. "A lush, lyric fantasy, loaded with metaphor… an endorsement of the artistic calling" (Benson, 31, 116-17). Copies of this edition are exceedingly scarce. In fact, the copy inscribed by Steinbeck at San Jose University reads, "I wish I had a copy of this edition." Top edge stained, no priority. Goldstone & Payne A1a. Salinas Public Library, 19.
Book near-fine, very light expert restoration to scarce original dust jacket with front and back panels quite bright, light edge-wear, and slightly sunned spine. A lovely copy.