“There it lay, the great pearl, perfect as the moon": First Edition of John Steinbeck's The Pearl; Inscribed by Him
Item Number: 21019
New York: The Viking Press, 1947.
First edition of this classic story of simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the title page, “For Bob Kriendler with best wishes John Steinbeck.” The recipient was the owner of the legendary New York City landmark restaurant and speakeasy ”21”. Steinbeck was a frequent visitor to 21 and was friends with Kriendler. It has hosted every President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt except for George W. Bush has dined at 21 (although Bush’s wife and daughters have). Light rubbing to the bottom cloth and small bookplate, near fine in a near fine first issue dust jacket with Steinbeck looking to the left on the rear panel. Drawings by Jose Clemente Orozco. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A nice association.
A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man's nature, the darkest depths of evil, and the luminous possibilities of love. Steinbeck began writing the story as a movie script in 1944, and first published it as a short story called "The Pearl of the World" in Woman's Home Companion in December 1945. He expanded it to novella length and published it under the name The Pearl by Viking Press in 1947. As he was writing the novella version, he was frequently travelling to Mexico where the film version, co-written with Jack Wagner, was being filmed. The film was also released by RKO in 1947 as a co-promotion with the book.