Cup of Gold. By John Steinbeck. Second Edition, Second Issue. Covici Friede. New York, 1936.


John Steinbeck is a titan of American literature with numerous major contributions to American literary history. He is one of the few people to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize. His everyman characters and sprawling, socially aware plots capture quintessential aspects of the American experience in the twentieth century. His prose, rich yet unadorned, contains a mastery of the English language on par with any writer before or after him. Yet before his incredible success as an author, Steinbeck published this little known work of historical fiction: Cup of Gold. It is a swashbuckling tale, following the life of a young Henry Morgan as he begins his seafaring life and ultimately lays siege to Panama City. The novel is unlike anything else Steinbeck published. It is adventurous, whimsical. Written in his early-to-mid twenties, it showcases the potential of a budding literary talent. Publishers were hesitant. The first edition in 1929 by Robert McBride & Co. sold less than 2,000 copies. It wasn’t reprinted until 1936, after Steinbeck published several other well-regarded novels. This second edition, second issue is hence one of the earliest attainable copies of the work. For any Steinbeck completist, it is a necessary volume.

This second edition, second issue is in about-fine condition. In the original blue cloth boards, fine with front board blind-stamped and gilt spine label. Text block fine. Former bookstore bookplate to back pastedown. In the original dust jacket, very good with only minor rubbing to back panel, and minor chipping to spine ends and corners. This edition is preceded only by the virtually unattainable 1929 first edition and the 1936 first issue of less than 1,000 copies.

An about-fine early printing of Steinbeck’s first novel.

1 in stock

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Cup of Gold. By John Steinbeck. Second Edition, Second Issue. Covici Friede. New York, 1936.

Additional Information provides shipping weight and dimensions.

Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 5 in