(New York: The Viking Press, 1939). 210 x 135 mm. (8 1/4 x 5 3/8"). 3 p.l., 619 pp. FIRST EDITION, First Printing, with the words "First Published in April 1939" printed on the copyright page.
Publisher's pictorial linen, endpapers printed with the sheet music for "Battle Hymn of the Republic." In the original, unclipped dust jacket displaying the $2.75 price and "First Edition." In a fine modern blue calf clamshell box. Goldstone-Payne A12.a. ◆A PRISTINE COPY.
Published when America was still deep in the Great Depression, "The Grapes of Wrath" is a novel detailing the heartbreak of rural dispossession and a work that, in the words of ANB, "captured the decade's angst as well as the nation's legacy of fierce individualism, visionary prosperity, and determined westward movement." In citing it as one of the "Books that Shaped America," the Library of Congress noted, "Few novels can claim that their message led to actual legislation, but 'The Grapes of Wrath' did just that. Its story of the travails of Oklahoma migrants . . . ignited a movement in Congress to pass laws benefiting farmworkers. When Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in 1962, the committee specifically cited this novel as one of the main reasons for the award." The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 and was printed in a large press run, making it readily available at the time and ever since. But the present unsurpassably fine copy of Steinbeck's greatest work is almost literally from a time capsule: it is one of a dozen or so copies discovered in a warehouse in the 1980s, still in their unopened boxes from Viking Press. While the copies at the bottom of the box had suffered some water damage, those in the upper layers, like the present one, look unchanged from the day they were packed by the publisher. While there are numerous copies of this book currently on the market, the condition here sets it far above the competition. It is certainly the finest copy of any important modern first edition we have ever offered for sale. (ST18154)