8vo. London: Methuen & Co., 1908. 8vo, (6), 302 pp., frontispiece by Graham Robertson with tissue guard. Original blue green cloth with pictorial gilt designs on backstrip and upper cover, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Recased, backstrip relined, new endpapers, small stain in the top right margin up to p. 71. First edition of the timeless adventures of Ratty, Mole, and Mr Toad, which originated in letters Grahame wrote to his seven-year old son “Mouse”. Methuen wasn’t sure what to make of the book, “no lighthearted story about a countryside community of animals but a long and ramifying fable”, (Grolier 100) and released it on its adult rather than juvenile list, but children and their parents understood it from the start and a second edition was required with a month of publication. By the time of the E.H. Shepard illustrated edition in 1932 the book was recognised as a children’s classic. Grolier Children’s 100 #61. Cotsen I, 696. (Inventory #: 122683)
Books and manuscripts in all fields, especially medieval illuminated and text manuscripts; material on California, Hawaii, and Pacific voyages; illustrated books and fine bindings from the 15th through the 20th century; children's books from 1750 to 1950; and fine press printing. William Blake, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Frognall Dibdin are special interests.
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