STEINBECK, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Covici-Friede, 1937.
8o. Original beige cloth; pictorial dust jacket (spine panel a little age-darkened and frayed at head). Provenance: Robert Rau, book designer (presentation inscription); Jonathan Goodwin (his sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, part II, 25 October 1977, lot 562 [mentions a note laid-in, not present here], sold to:) Barry Maurer, Steinbeck collector (his Steinbeck collection was sold by Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, Catalogue One, January 1980).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, with "pendula" for "pendulum" on page 11, but this copy without top edges stained blue. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY STEINBECK TO A DESIGNER OF THE BOOK on the front free endpaper: "For Robert Rau, John Steinbeck." On the verso of the title-page, designed by the distinguished typographer Robert Josephy, the designer has written: "one of 2 copies fresh off the press before staining, RJ." At the foot of the same page, in the printed acknowledgement "Designed by Robert Josephy," the word "designed" has been crossed-out and "ruined by Josephy" has been inscribed below in apparently another hand. The "staining" to which Josephy refers is the blue stain that was applied to the top edges of the remaining copies of the first issue. Presumably, either Josephy or Rau appropriated this and another of the earliest copies for Steinbeck to inscribe. The "ruined" comment may be self-mockery on Josephy's part, or Rau's opinion of Josephy's work. The fate of the second unstained copy is unknown. Goldstone and Payne A7a.