STEINBECK, John (1902-1968). The Pastures of Heaven. New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1932.
8vo. Original publisher's green gilt-lettered cloth, top edge stained black (some minor fading to spine ends, very slightly leaned); original silver dust jacket lettered in blue with gold stars (some minor soiling, creasing or rubbing, chipping with small losses to spine ends and a few edges, slight rubbing primarily to folds). Provenance: Louis Paul (ca 1902-1970), American author and Steinbeck correspondent (presentation inscription, autograph note by Steinbeck tipped in, see below).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, IN THE FIRST ISSUE DUST JACKET. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY STEINBECK: "For Louis Paul: that I wish I could write as good as him, John Steinbeck, Los Gatos, 1936." Steinbeck adds a postscript: "I wonder what will become of us now! And I could wish that this book might possibly give you as much pleasure as your wanting me to sign it gives me. J.S."
Of the 2,500 copies printed, only 1,650 were bound, and of those, only 650 sold. Ballou later bought the remaining copies, and it has become the most popular of Steinbeck's three earliest novels.
A SUPERB ASSOCIATION COPY.
[Tipped in:] STEINBECK. Autograph note, to Louis Paul, n.d., n.p. In full: "Where'd you get hold of this. The double imprint B. W. & P. is very rare. Ballou tipped in his house information almost the day of publication. This super first edition I'm told is hard to get. I see that Shumlin has turned down my new playing novel. I grow more and more convinced that any book which gets by easily is a lousy book. It can almost be made axiomatic. Anyway I'll get this off."
Steinbeck struck up a friendship with Louis Paul after reading his contribution to the O. Henry Prize Stories of 1934. Steinbeck shares his endorsement of Paul in a 24 November 1937 letter to his literary agents Elizabeth Otis, Anne Laurie Williams and Mavis McIntosh: "I'm bringing you a new client. Louis Paul. He's a swell egg and you will like him. And he's well enough known so that it may not be hard to sell his stories. I like him immensely" (Steinbeck, A Life in Letters, p. 144, 1975). Goldstone & Payne A2a.