Morgan Sails the Caribbean

There is much cross interest in this book by poet Berton Braley published by Macmillan in 1934.  It’s a book about a pirate, Sir Henry Morgan, and there are a lot of “pirate” collectors.  In fact, there is a frontispiece portrait of the famous buccaneer.  Others might collect the book because of the dust jacket illustration.  The jacket is illustrated by Boris Artzybasheff.  There are a number of Artzybasheef collectors.  Some might collect it because they like that its author wrote about Morgan in a rhyming ballad format.  Still others might like the book’s connection to John Steinbeck.

Front of book

Front of book


Yup.  The book is cited in the Goldstone & Payne bibliography of Steinbeck as B1, meaning it’s Steinbeck’s first contribution to a book.  Most of the time an appearance by an author would result from the inclusion of his short story in an anthology, but in this case the contribution is a letter from Steinbeck to Braley.  The printed letter follows Braley’s acknowledgement and thanks to Steinbeck’s for allowing Braley permission to use incidents in Steinbeck’s first novel, Cup of Gold.  Seems that Braley read Steinbeck’s book in doing research on Morgan and used some of the incidents that Steinbeck made up as historical material for his book.

This particular copy has a 5X7-inch b&w photograph of Braley looking pensive laid loosely into the book.

Photo of Berton Braley

Photo of Berton Braley


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