11 October 2002
STEINBECK, John. The Short Reign of Pippin IV. New York: Viking, 1957.
Large 8o. UNREVISED GALLEY PROOFS printed on rectos only and bound in original plastic spiral binder, with two publishers' labels on front cover. Provenance: John Scopazzi (presentation inscription).
PRESENTATION COPY OF THE UNREVISED GALLEY PROOFS FOR THE FIRST EDITION. HUMOROUSLY INSCRIBED BY STEINBECK on the inside front cover: "Dear John Scopazzi: Before you call the wagon, I can explain everything. This books sneaked up on me. Nobody can be more surprised than I was when it dribbled out on paper. I think it was imps. Yours John Steinbeck." Written as a satire set during the French Revolution, The Short Reign of Pippin IV was met with a certain "unease" by his publishers. But the more Viking tried to persuade him not to publish it, the more Steinbeck's determination was bolstered. "When the Book-of-the-Month Club, against all expectation by him and by Viking, selected Pippin, he thought that it was the greatest joke in the world: on him, on Viking--and on the Book-of-the-Month Club" (Benson, p. 803).
The printed and carbon labels on the front cover have the publication date as March and price as $2.95, but one has been changed in pencil to April, the other has the price changed from $2.95 to $3.00 in ink. The book was eventually published in April at $3.00. The galleys have none of the preliminaries set up in type, nor are any of the illustrations by William Pene du Bois reproduced with the text. According to the Bradford Morrow catalogue of the Harry Valentine Steinbeck Collection, which contained the only other known inscribed set of galleys for The Short Reign, these are "extremely scarce, especially in inscribed state. No copies were discovered by Goldstone & Payne."
STEINBECK, John. The Short Reign of Pippin IV. London: Heinemann, 1957. 8o. Original blue boards; dust jacket (spine panel slightly age-toned). Provenance: A.S. Frere (and Miss Wallace), editor at Heinemann (presentation inscription).
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, first binding. A FINE ASSOCIATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY STEINBECK TO HIS ENGLISH EDITOR on the front free endpaper: "For Frere and Miss Wallace inscribed illicitly John Steinbeck de Salinas." Goldstone and Payne A36b. (2)
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