STEINBECK, JOHN. 1902-1968.
Cup of Gold. New York: Robert M. McBride, 1929.
Original yellow cloth. Custom linen slipcase. Small, pale corner dampstain to first several leaves, cloth slightly darkened.
Provenance: Serendipity Books.
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, PRESENTATION COPY OF STEINBECK'S FIRST NOVEL, inscribed and signed by the author on the front free endpaper: "For Toby and Frances / with many affections / John Steinbeck / ('el cordero furioso')."
Toby Street and John Steinbeck attended writing classes together at Stanford in the early twenties and remained life-long friends. Steinbeck was best man at Toby and Frances's wedding and Steinbeck's early novel To A God Unknown was based on a play written by Street in 1926 ("The Green Lady"). Contemporary presentation copies of Cup of Gold are very rare. Steinbeck was only 27 years old when he wrote it and later reflected "the book was an immature experiment written for the purpose of getting all the wise cracks (known by sophomores as epigrams) and all the autobiographical material (which hounds us until we get it said) out of my system. And I really did not intend to publish it. The book accomplished its purgative purpose. I am no more concerned with myself very much. I can write about other people..." (A Life in Letters, p 17).
In later life, Street acted as Steinbeck's lawyer and he also accompanied Steinbeck and his poodle for four days of the 1960 journey described in Travels with Charley. Goldstone & Payne A1.a.