East of Eden by John Steinbeck, First Trade Edition, in Original Dust Jacket, 1952

Steinbeck, John. East of Eden. New York: The Viking Press, 1952. Octavo. First trade edition, first printing. In original lime green cloth boards with green titles to the spine and original unclipped dust jacket. Presented with a new archival ¼ leather and cloth clamshell case. 

Presented is a first trade edition, first printing of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Published in 1952 by Viking Press, this book is in its original lime green cloth boards, with green title to the spine, and original, unclipped dust jacket. In this classic retelling of the story of Cain and Abel, Steinbeck writes of two multi-generational families in California’s Salinas Valley. 

East of Eden was first published in September of 1952 by Viking Press in a limited edition of only 1,500 copies, all signed by Steinbeck. Published the same month, this is the first printing of the first trade edition. It states “First published by The Viking Press in September 1952” on the copyright page with no statements of subsequent printings, with the year 1952 on the title page. A key identification point, this book has “bite” on page 281, mistakenly changed from the original word, “bight,” during proofreading. The book is presented in its original dust jacket, which is unclipped and has Steinbeck's photo on the rear with no blurbs. 

East of Eden is considered one of Steinbeck's most ambitious works and a classic of modern American literature. Steinbeck claimed the novel “has everything in it I have been able to learn about my art or craft or profession in all these years. I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this” (Salinas Public Library, 45).


Very good condition. 8vo. Original lime green cloth boards, with the spine lettered in green on brown background. Small stain at the foot of the spine. Original unclipped dust jacket . Dust jacket spine and extremes are sunned, light staining to the front panel and minimal edgewear. Dust jacket is protected with new mylar. Internally, pages are healthy, with only light toning. With a past owner’s bookplate. First trade edition, first printing, with “bite” for “bight” on p. 281. 

Book is housed in a new archival quarter leather and cloth clamshell case, with raised bands, gilt titles, and tooling to the spine, and an inlay of the dust jacket to the front.

Book Dimensions: 8 5/8" H x 6" W x 1 7/8" D, Slipcase dimensions: 9 3/4" H x 7" W x 2 3/4" D.

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