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The Grapes of Wrath.

New York, The Viking Press, 1939 Stock Code: 98526

Inscribed to the "unforgettable" Professor Lyon

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First edition, first printing, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the title page, "Continuing the tradition. To John H. Lyon, go to hell! John Steinbeck". The recipient was Professor John Henry Hobart Lyon (1876-1961), an English professor at Columbia University. "Great names usually come in clusters, for one creative scholar attracts others to work with him... The unforgettable Professor John Henry Hobart Lyon stirs his students by his lectures on Shakespeare, romantic literature, and the world's masterpieces" (Coon, p. 33). Lyon also taught a popular course called "Literature of Today", for which he invited well-known contemporary authors to lecture. Among those who appeared were Thomas Mann, Kenneth Roberts, Orson Welles, Stephen Benet, Erskine Caldwell, Somerset Maugham, Moss Hart, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Though there is no record of Steinbeck speaking at the course, Steinbeck and Lyon evidently had a playful exchange of some kind.
The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck's masterpiece, is widely regarded as the supreme literary achievement of the Depression era. The film adaptation of Darryl F. Zanuck, produced the following year, is also readily ranked among the greatest American films of the century.

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Octavo. Original tan cloth, titles to spine and pictorial design to boards in dark brown, music endpapers, top edge yellow. With supplied dust jacket. Housed in a custom green quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.


Front hinge cracked but firm, spine mildly toned, offsetting to endpapers, faint inkstamp to rear free endpaper, a very good copy; bright dust jacket with toned spine, some minor chips to ends, tips, and folds, rubbing to extremities, presenting well.


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