“The public loves to create a hero....Sometimes I think they do it for the sheer joy of knocking him down from the highest peak": First Edition of Grace Metalious' Peyton Place; Inscribed by Her in the Year of Publication
Item Number: 89943
New York: Julian Messner, Inc, 1956.
First edition of this landmark in twentieth-century American popular culture, which spawned a successful feature film and a long-running prime time television series soap opera. Octavo, original boards. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author shortly after publication, “To Jay Dupuis with best wishes, Grace Metalious. Oct. 10, 1956.” The initial first edition was released on September 24, 1956 and the print run was minimal, as it was Metalius’ first book. It sold 60,000 copies within the first ten days of its release and remained on the New York Times best seller list for 59 weeks. The recipient was a relative of Metalious’ son-in-law Edward Dupuis. Very good in a very good dust jacket. Signed and inscribed first editions are rare.
Metalious' Peyton Place describes how three women are forced to come to terms with their identity, both as women and as sexual beings, in a small, conservative, gossipy New England town, with recurring themes of hypocrisy, social inequities and class privilege in a tale that includes incest, abortion, adultery, lust and murder. It sold 60 000 copies within the first ten days of its release and remained on the New York Times best seller list for 59 weeks. The novel spawned a franchise that would run through four decades. Twentieth Century-Fox adapted it as a major motion picture in 1957, and Metalious wrote a follow-up novel that was published in 1959, called Return to Peyton Place, which was also filmed in 1961 using the same title. The original 1956 novel was adapted again in 1964, in what became a wildly successful prime time television series for 20th Century Fox Television that ran until 1969, and the term "Peyton Place" an allusion to any small town or group that holds scandalous secrets entered into the American lexicon. An NBC daytime soap opera, titled Return to Peyton Place, ran from 1972 to 1974, and the franchise was rounded out with two made-for-television movies, which aired in 1977 and 1985.