Lot 679: ALS signed "John," two pages, 8 x 12.25, St. Patrick's Day [March 17, no year but circa early 1950s]. Letter to "Bill," in part: "We don't see enough of you and Louise. That is undoubtedly mostly our fault. I seem to be chained to this drafting table. The portrait keeps growing on me. What a fine piece of work it is, really sound and true. It's a portrait for all their lives, not just a time piece. Next Saturday I'm taking the boys to Nantucket for a week. Will take care of ourselves and be alone and maybe I'll get to know them a little. You can only do that alone. Elaine is going to Texas to see her people. Bill, it occurs to me that now I have all these nice power tools and welding outfit. I haven't even had time to set them up in the basement. How about helping me set up a shop down there and then using the shop when you want to. It could be a fine place to make frames etc. And we could design and make some bird cages. I'll call you when I get back from Nantucket and we'll talk about it. I know you could use the tools and I could use your help in setting it up. I have a fan to bring in fresh air from the outside. I've got my first act of Cannery Row and now go in to the second act." Somewhat brittle overall toning, some chipping to edges, and a few small repaired edge tears, otherwise fine condition.Inspired by his life in Monterey in the 1930s, Steinbeck published his now-classic comic novel Cannery Row in 1945. He frequently returned to this material in the years that followed, working on an adaptation for stage or screen, and publishing the sequel Sweet Thursday in 1954. Despite widespread interest in the film—including inquiries from Humphrey Bogart and Burgess Meredith for the lead role of Doc—and a cast of characters ready-made for the stage, neither project ever reached fruition. It was not until Roger and Hammerstein's musical Pipe Dream, which used Sweet Thursday as its basis, premiered in 1955 that Steinbeck's beloved Doc finally made it to Broadway. A fantastic letter discussing one of his most treasured novels, and his efforts to bring it to new audiences.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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