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Thirst  

Thirst and Other
One-Act Plays

Boston: The Gorham Press, 1914 (August 17)
First edition, with dust jacket

 

 

Atkinson # A1-I-1     Sanborn and Clark # 4

NOTES:  O'Neill's first book. Signed presentation copy to Robert Sisk.

INSCRIPTION:  [On front free endpaper]

For Robert Sisk / All friendship! / Eugene O'Neill


THIRST, which contains five of O'Neill's early one-act plays, was published by Richard G. Badger as a part of his American Dramatists Series. O'Neill had offered the manuscript elsewhere, but could convince no one to risk publishing it. Badger offered to do so on the condition that the author defray all expenses. The printing cost of $450 was financed by O'Neill's father who, though he did not appreciate his son's writing, was relieved to see O'Neill trying to make something of himself. One thousand copies were published in August of 1914 and had an unspectacular sale. O'Neill was offered the unsold volumes (almost the entire edition) at thirty cents a copy, but refused, later stating, "I scorned (the) offer as a waste of good money on my lousy drama!"

Richard Badger eventually sold the remaining copies of THIRST to Frances Steloff, who, in 1920, became the proprietor of the Gotham Book Mart in New York. Miss Steloff bought the unsold volumes plus Badger's contract with O'Neill for $200. While she had not read the book before making the purchase, her instincts proved sound -- less than twenty-five years later THIRST became a collector's item.


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