London: George Routledge and Sons, 1888. Inscribed by Kate Greenaway to her Close Friend and Confidante Lady Dorothy NevillWith a Fine Watercolor Drawing on the Half-TitleGREENAWAY, Kate. Almanack for 1889. Printed by Edmund Evans. London: George Routledge and Sons, . First edition. Presentation copy to Lady Dorothy Nevill with a fine original head and shoulders portrait watercolor of a young girl, on half-title, signed with initials at lower left, measuring 3/4 x 3/4 inch; 19 x 19 mm. Inscribed "Lady Dorothy Nevill / from Kate Greenaway / Dec 1888".Twentyfourmo (3 7/8 x 2 7/8 inches; 99 x 73 mm.).  pp. Color pictorial title-page, full-page color frontispiece, half-page color illustration, and twelve superb half-page color illustrations (one for each month), four full-page color illustrations for each of the seasons and the last three leaves containing an additional one full-page, and two half-page color illustrations. Publishers tan cloth over boards pictorially stamped in gilt and blue, all edges gilt, coated green endpapers. Some light staining/darkening to cloth otherwise a fine copy. Housed in a custom made quarter blue morocco over blue cloth boards clamshell case with watered blue silk lining. With the bookplate of Robert S. Pirie on inside of case.Lady Dorothy Nevill (1826-1913) was a close friend and confidante of Kate Greenaway. In the summer of 1888 Kate was miserable and confused. "Her efforts to restore Ruskin's health had been a failure and, moreover, her professional reputation was fast waning. Work on illustrations for books now seemed dispiriting, and she did it solely for the money. For consolation and patronage she turned to old and by now long-neglected friends, accepting private commissions from Lady Dorothy Nevill, Lady Northcote and Gerald Posonby." "By April  Kate was in a dilemma: she was unable to turn old sketches into saleable new pictures, yet she needed to find some way to earn her living… Lady Dorothy Nevill now occupied a prominent place among Kate's intimates, not only for her patronage (she had encouraged Leighton to admire Kate's work) and her large circle of influential friends, but also for her willingness to listen to Kate's worries. 'Miss Greenaway herself was the very incarnation of modest gentleness, and very far from being fitted to adopt these commercial methods by which alone her work might have received full pecuniary appreciation,' she concluded in her autobiography. Almost twenty years Kate's senior, with a personality unlike that of any of Kate's other friends, Dorothy Nevill seemed to understand Kate completely. The daughter of Horace Walpole, she had seen the giants of the Victorian age come and go, accepting with a rare degree of tolerance many of their quirks and follies; and, like Kate, she was saddened by the demise of the Victorian ideals of respectability and beauty." In the summer of 1901, "Back in Hampstead, and suffering from what she still called a 'bad cold', she described to Maria Ponsonby her condition after the operation: I soon get tired and my arm keeps very stiff… Kate's condition grew worse. News of her illness and the need for money to pay the doctor worried her friends. Lady Dorothy Nevill wrote to suggest buying a drawing, but Kate refused, although she was touched by the gesture. Her need for money did not allow her to forget her friends, and she insisted that if Lady Dorothy wanted a drawing she would love 'to GIVE YOU anything you like - drawings are the only things I have to give my friends'. She did stress that , providing her health improved, she might accept new portrait commissions if Lady Dorothy could find them. Her letter ended, 'Dear Lady Dorothy, I do feel you so kind and I send you much love,' as if it were her last chance to thank her friend." Kate Greenaway died at her home in Hampstead on November 6th, 1901. (Rodney Engen. Kate Greenaway. A Biography, pp. 155, 195 & 213).Robert S Pirie (1934-2015), was a combative corporate lawyer when the risky but lucrative field of mergers and acquisitions was emerging and later a prominent investment banker on Wall Street. His private library grew to include thousands of volumes, which he made available to librarians and scholars. He specialized in 16th- and 17th-century English literature and provided many of the exhibits for the 400th-anniversary John Donne exhibition at the Grolier Club in Manhattan in 1972. A Harvard-educated bibliophile, he once said that though he was advised to get a law degree, "I'd never intended to practice law." "I wanted to become the rare book curator at Harvard."Schuster & Engen, (Inventory #: 03709)
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