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    A Fine Collection of Correspondence Between John Steinbeck and His Friend, Broadway Producer Ernest H. Martin

    John Steinbeck. A Collection of Correspondence. [Various places: various dates].

    This collection of five letters or related material is as follows:

    1. Typed Letter. [11 x 8.5 inches, two pages on two leaves of blue onionskin paper]. [N.p.]: April 11, 1956. Letter from Steinbeck to producer Ernest Martin and his wife Nan as they were on their way to Europe on vacation, with a typed signature from Steinbeck only - no manuscript signature. Steinbeck requests that Ernie buy him, while he is in Paris a "shooting stick that shoots. It is a cane which is also a small gauge shot gun. It carries a shot gun shell..." Later in the letter, Steinbeck refers to a manuscript he had sent Martin: "Now as to the mss I sent you. Don't pay much attention to it except to read it and perhaps to enjoy it, I am tearing it down to the roots and starting it over again with a different approach. It is too good an idea to let piddle away. The characters are going to be fully developed. The relationships are going to be established. It is not going to have such a historical tone..." The portion referring to the manuscript is outlined in red pencil (possibly by Martin), and Martin has written at the top of the first page "(PD) File EHM."

    2. Autograph Postcard Signed. [3.25 x 5.5 inches on plain card]. New York: March 21, [1960]. Steinbeck thanks producer Ernest Martin and his wife for a gift: "Dear Nan and Ernie: I think it was the testy Dr. Johnson, who on receiving a much desired present from a friend wrote - 'I do not like you so well as to give you such a fine thing.'..." Signed "John."

    3. Autograph Letter Signed. [13 x 7 inches on lined paper]. Bruton, Somerset: April 19 [1959]. Written by Steinbeck to Ernest and Nan Martin from a centuries-old cottage in England. Steinbeck writes about the idyllic setting: "What a wonderful place to be. Maybe not for everyone but certainly for me, and I'm pretty sure for Elaine." Folded in three places.

    4. Autograph Postcard Signed. [3.5 x 5.5 inches on plain card]. New York: Wednesday, 1953. Steinbeck writes to producer Ernest H. Martin about his difficulties in starting their proposed musical version of Cannery Row: "Dear Ernie: The idea that I might have any time to work was a vain one. From 7 until 9 I am on the go and then I am as ready for the sack as the kids are. It's good and very valuable but not productive of a musical... John."

    5. Autograph Airmail Envelope. [4 x 5.25 inches, top torn open]. Addressed in Steinbeck's hand to "Mr. + Mrs. Ernest Martin" in New York City. With the stamp of Steinbeck's cottage at Bruton, Somerset on the back.

    Despite some minor age-toning and wear, the condition is generally near fine. A wonderful collection.

    Ernest H. Martin (1919-1995) was a successful Broadway producer, who won three Tony Awards with his collaborator and co-producer Cy Feuer. He won Tony Awards for Guys and Dolls (1951, Best Producers) and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1962, Best Producer, and Best Co-Producer). He and Steinbeck had tried for years to produce a musical comedy version of Cannery Row, without success.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 495

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