The original annotated typescript of legendary American author John Steinbeck’s first book is estimated to make up to $63,275 at auction.
This one-of-a-kind piece shows the annotations made by Steinbeck, as well as his editors and friends, on his first novel Cup of Gold.
Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck wrote 33 books including Of Mice and Men and the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Grapes of Wrath.
Written in 1928 this draft was read by Kate Beswick and Carol Henning, the latter becoming his wife.
The pages also demonstrate the candid reactions of contemporary readers, with their annotations offering a window into the novel’s reception.
In one annotation, Steinbeck’s description of a “bloated sun” was deemed “not good” by one reader.
Someone else has written ‘I hate the word ‘whereas’ in the margin.
And years later in the 1950s Steinbeck himself writes on the front page of the manuscript: “If for no other reason the typographical errors on the title page would convince me that this is the original mss (manuscript) of this”
The annotations shown on this original typescript are believed to have proved vital in the success of this original novel which kickstarted his illustrious career.
The piece is part of the Mary Steinbeck Dekker Family Collection and will be up for auction at Forum Auctions’ Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper sale later this week and is estimated to make between £35,000-£50,000.
Max Hasler, Book Specialist at Forum Auctions, said: “This is a remarkable item that shows the young Steinbeck learning the craft that he would come to master.
“Not only does the typescript noticeably differ from the published version, it also shows how Steinbeck himself, as well as his friends and editors, actively shaped the text in bringing it to publication.
“Steinbeck was one of the great writers of the 20th century, a Nobel Laureate and one of the key people to have shaped the way America sees itself and its past.
“Working manuscripts of important works are very rarely seen on the open market so this represents a unique opportunity to own an item that embodies the start of Steinbeck’s illustrious career.”
Other works in this collection include a first edition of The Grapes of Wrath, a signed first edition of The Pastures of Heaven and Steinbeck’s own signed copy of his North American Review.
An unusual item in the collection is a lock of three-year-old John Steinbeck’s blonde hair, in its original envelope and inscribed by his mother, ‘John’s curls – / cut oﬀ Feb, 27, 1905/ 3 years old’, which carries an estimate of £500-£700.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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