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    Upton Sinclair Archive of 24 Letters, spanning the years 1927 through 1940. All letters were written to fellow author Melville Kress and are typed, save one, which is an autograph letter signed. All are on Sinclair's personal stationery, each measuring 8.5" x 5.5". Most letters are signed "Sinclair"; some have corrections by Sinclair to the text. This collection has been well preserved and contains only minor staining to certain letters. Two filing holes appear in the top margin of each letter.

    Upton Sinclair's remarkable career was quite long, lasting over half a century. He initially gained fame through his muckraking novel The Jungle (1906), which influenced the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. Politically, he was a controversial figure as an outspoken advocate of Socialism. Melville Kress, a factory worker and author, became interested in Sinclair's works in the late 1920s, and the two began a correspondence which lasted many years. During their correspondence, Kress began a political biography about Sinclair which was eventually published as Mightier Than the Sword: The Era of Upton Beall Sinclair. Kress also helped publicize Sinclair's works. Sinclair, in turn, tried to help further Kress' opportunities as a writer; for example, when a reporter at Time magazine asked "whether there was any young writers I was interested in" (June 1, 1940), Sinclair mentioned Kress.

    In these letters, Sinclair initially addresses his letters to "Comrade". Always to the point, he writes about a variety of topics, such as socialism, Eugene Debs, Peter Kropotkin, some of his own novels and magazine articles, Lincoln Steffens, The Jungle, racism, Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, and other authors. He also writes about his own writing projects, seeking and valuing Kress' criticism. In a January 19, 1938, letter, Sinclair writes that he was "just getting started on a new novel [World's End]." In his next letter dated the 26th, he sends Kress "the first two chapters of 'World's End' and synopsis. Your reactions and suggestions will interest me, and you will of course be perfectly frank." In some letters, Sinclair pushes back against some of Kress' suggestions. At other times, Sinclair asks for more critical analysis from Kress: "Of course I am glad you did not find any fault with the first three of the Peace Conference chapters. But I hoped to move you to some comments. You know I am out here alone, so far as writers are concerned, and grinding at this stuff, and naturally I keep wondering how it is" (October 27, 1939). Kress also sent Sinclair examples of his own writing for critique, which Sinclair obliged. Once World's End went to the publisher (published in 1940), Sinclair began another novel, Dragon's Teeth. In one of the final letters of this archive dated June 1, 1940, Sinclair informs Kress that he has mailed him "a copy of Chapter Four of 'Dragons Teeth.'" (Dragon's Teeth was published in 1942.)


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    3rd Thursday
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