NY: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1940. First Edition, first printing. Signed presentation from Mitchell on the title page: “For Maude Miller Curtiss with every good wish and much appreciation, Ruth Comfort Mitchell,1940. April 26th at San Jose.” Ruth Comfort Mitchell Young wrote novels, poems, short stories, and plays. She is perhaps best known for this novel, “Of Human Kindness,” which she wrote as a counterpoint to John Steinbeck's “The Grapes of Wrath.” Both the Youngs were involved in Republican politics. Ruth served as Republican National Committeewoman from California for eight years and as national and state president of Pro-America, an organization of Republican women founded in 1933. Meanwhile, her husband Sanborn Young, served as a California State Senator for thirteen years. Sanborn Young returned to life as a cattle rancher after retiring from the Senate and, as such, he and his wife were upset by Steinbeck's novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” which appeared soon after, in 1939. Ruth Comfort Mitchell determined to tell their side of the story, the result being “Of Human Kindness,” in which a gentleman farmer's family must overcome the tribulations brought by migrant workers, union organizers, liberal academics, and Communists. This novel is very scarce with few, if any, copies appearing on the market today. While reading this particular copy, I came across an old San Jose business (A. Arzino. Fish, Oysters and Poultry) receipt laid-in, probably contemporary with the inscription. While an interesting piece of memorabilia, it was used as a bookmark and it has browned a portion of pages 270-271. I have saved the receipt, now in a plastic sleeve. None-the-less, a nice inscribed copy of a scarce title! Small 8vo., green cloth, stamped in gilt, in dust jacket; 359 pages. Item #57400
Very Good (covers nice & bright; contents clean & tight with browned pages noted); little edgewear & few tiny tears & little browning, some fading spine with a tiny ink mark mid-spine) d/j. Overall, a pretty nice copy!