Handwritten 1958 Steinbeck letter earns $32K at RR Auction

Two-page 1958 letter from author John Steinbeck to his 14-year-old son, Thomas, $32,426

Two-page 1958 letter from author John Steinbeck to his 14-year-old son, Thomas, $32,426

BOSTON – A letter handwritten by John Steinbeck in which he offers his wise, fatherly advice on matters of the heart sold for $32,426 at RR Auction on October 12.

The remarkable two-page draft letter to his 14-year-old son, Thomas, is dated November 10, 1958. In it, Steinbeck’s sage advice to his love-torn son reads in part: “if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.”

On losing, Steinbeck said, “If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

The text of this famous letter has been widely circulated in print via Steinbeck: A Life in Letters, published by Penguin in 1989, and by outlets large and small — these enduring words thus form a bridge between one of America’s greatest writers and contemporary pop culture.

 First page of a 1958 letter from author John Steinbeck to his 14-year-old son, Thomas, $32,426


First page of a 1958 letter from author John Steinbeck to his 14-year-old son, Thomas, $32,426

It is a marvelous exposition of love — what it feels like, what it means, and what it can be. Steinbeck treats his son’s revelation in a serious and straightforward manner — perhaps in response to a denial of puppy love — and warmly offers a hand in expressing and understanding these newfound feelings.

“The letter offers an intimate, private glimpse into Steinbeck’s family life —  it also expresses his ideas about love stated simply and eloquently,” said RR Auction Executive VP Bobby Livingston.

The winning bid was from a collector who wishes to remain anonymous.

The Fine Autograph and Artifacts Featuring Literature and Revolutionary rarities auction from RR Auction began on September 23 and concluded on October 12. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.

 

View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/