Skip to content

The Grapes of Wrath.

The Grapes of Wrath.

The Grapes of Wrath.
Click for full-size.

The Grapes of Wrath. - 1939


  • Used
  • Hardcover
  • first


New York: The Viking Press,, 1939. Presentation copy, connecting Steinbeck and Hemingway First edition, first impression, presentation copy, inscribed by the author "For Vincent Sheean, John Steinbeck" and additionally inscribed by the recipient, "Although it is signed to me, Mr Steinbeck intended this book to go for the Spanish intellectuals in exile - Vincent Sheean". Vincent Sheean (1899-1975), the American journalist and writer, published Personal History in 1935. A film adaptation, entitled Foreign Correspondent and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, was released in 1940. Working as a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune he covered the Spanish Civil War, hence his note about "Spanish intellectuals in exile". Sheean had been in Spain with Ernest Hemingway in 1938 and was responsible for the only known meeting between Steinbeck and Hemingway. Writing in John Steinbeck and his Contemporaries, Valerie Hemingway notes that Steinbeck had been "a thorn in Hemingway's side". Nevertheless, Hemingway expressed an interest in meeting Steinbeck in 1944 and, accordingly, Sheean invited Steinbeck and Hemingway to dine with him at Tim Costello's Irish pub on Third Avenue, New York. John O'Hara, the short story writer, was also present and had with him an antique walking cane which he had received as a gift from Steinbeck. Hemingway in a drunken and boarish manner bet O'Hara 50 dollars that he could break the cane over his head. The bet was accepted and O'Hara lost both his cane and the money. Steinbeck was disgusted and rather bemused at Hemingway's gratuitous cruelty. Hemingway promised to replace the cane, but never did. Steinbeck would later send O'Hara a replacement. The fine jacket design is by the children's book author and illustrator Elmer Hader (1889-1973), joint recipient, alongside his wife Berta, of the 1948 Caldecott medal. Steinbeck was so taken with the illustrations in their book Billy Butter (1936) that he specially requested Elmer design the cover for The Grapes of Wrath. Elmer later designed the jackets of Steinbeck's East of Eden (1952) and The Winter of Our Discontent (1961). Octavo. Original buff cloth, lettering to spine in brown, pictorial design to spine and covers in brown, endpapers decorated with the sheet music for "Battle Hymn of the Republic", top edge yellow. With supplied dust jacket. Housed in custom blue cloth solander box. book label to rear pastedown. Extremities worn, spine toned, minor split to front joint, repair to inner front hinge, edges of pp. 91-92 worn, lacking corners of pp. 181-82, and pp. 231-32, occasional short tears; a clean and good copy. Dust jacket lightly soiled with extremities worn and browning to edges; a good copy of an unclipped jacket. Goldstone & Payne A12. Stephen K. George & Barbara A. Heavilin, John Steinbeck and his Contemporaries, 2007.
NZ$26.32 Shipping to USA
Standard delivery: 7 to 14 days
More Shipping Options
Ships from Peter Harrington (United Kingdom)


About Peter Harrington United Kingdom

Biblio member since 2006
Seller rating: This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.

Since its establishment, Peter Harrington has specialised in sourcing, selling and buying the finest quality original first editions, signed, rare and antiquarian books, fine bindings and library sets. Peter Harrington first began selling rare books from the Chelsea Antiques Market on London's King's Road. For the past twenty years the business has been run by Pom Harrington, Peter's son.

Terms of Sale:

All major credit cards are accepted. Both UK pounds and US dollars (exchange rate to be agreed) accepted. Books may be returned within 14 days of receipt for any reason, please notify first of returned goods.

Browse books from Peter Harrington

About this book

John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath stands as a pivotal piece of American literature. The story follows the Joad family (and thousands of others) as they are driven from the Oklahoma farm where they are sharecroppers during the Great Depression. The drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries send them searching for dignity and honest work in the bountiful state of California.

The novel earned Steinbeck the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1940, and inspired the classic film of the same name the same year. The film starred Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, and Steinbeck's words and ideas shine through that medium. In 1962, Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for the body of his work, and The Grapes of Wrath stands as his most recognized and esteemed book.

First Edition Identification

 The book was first published in 1939, by The Viking Press. Commonly found flaws in the first edition of this work include age tanning, rolling of the spine, and chips to the edges of the pages and boards. Signed copies of a First Edition in excellent condition can fetch over $20,000. The first UK edition was printed by William Heinemann, also in 1939. Signed First UK editions are also collectible, often sold for over $5,000 USD.