On the Road by Jack Kerouac, First Edition, 1957

Kerouac, Jack, On the Road. New York: The Viking Press, 1957. First edition, bound in quarter leather with matching cloth slipcase.

Presented is an original first edition copy of Kerouac’s second and most important novel, “a physical and metaphysical journey across America.” A lovely copy in in custom quarter leather and cloth binding with matching cloth slipcase.

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was an American novelist and poet. “Between 1947 and 1950, Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac took off on a freewheeling journey through the USA and Mexico in search of something outside their domestic experience. Ten years later their adventures were related in On the Road… The novel’s composition has become a well-known anecdote in its own right. Returning home from his wanderings, Kerouac spent almost a year pondering how (specifically, in what form) he might convey the life he had been living. Several false starts were made, but in April 1951 he fed a 120-foot roll of teletype into his typewriter, typed for three weeks and the result, largely unrevised, was On the Road” (Parker, 339).

“Just before Jack Kerouac died in 1969, he told Neal Cassady that he feared he would die like Melville, unknown and unappreciated in his own time… On the Road has become a classic of the Beat Movement with its stream-of-consciousness depiction of the rejection of mainstream American values set in a physical and metaphysical journey across America” (Book in America, 136).

This first edition copy was published in New York by The Viking Press in 1957.


Rebound in quarter leather and cloth boards with raised bands and gilt tooling on the spine. Marbled endpapers, gilt top edge, pages in very good condition for age. Housed in a custom-made matching cloth slipcase with a black and white photograph of the author on one side.

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