New York: The Vanguard Press, 1937. Hardcover. Good +. A magnificent Association copy of the 1937 true 1st edition (Younger & Hirsch, pgs. 14-15) of Dr. Seuss's first published children's book. THIS COPY IS NOT ONLY INSCRIBED BY DR. SEUSS (IN A CLEARLY VERY EARLY HAND) BUT, PERHAPS JUST AS SIGNIFICANTLY, IS ALSO INSCRIBED BY MIKE MCCLINTOCK, THE KEY FIGURE IN THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK. MCCLINTOCK WAS NOT ONLY THE BOOK'S EDITOR --AND ITS EARLIEST CHAMPION-- BUT WAS ALSO THE HUSBAND OF HELENE MCCLINTOCK (TO WHOM THE BOOK WAS DEDICATED) AND THE REAL-LIFE FATHER OF "MARCO" MCCLINTOCK, THE LITTLE BOY AFTER WHOM DR. SEUSS NAMED THE MAIN CHARACTER. IN FACT, IN HIS INSCRIPTION ON THE VERSO OF THE FRONT FREE ENDPAPER, JUST BELOW DR. SEUSS'S, MCCLINTOCK SIGNS "DITTO--MIKE MCCLINTOCK (MARCO'S FATHER)". TO QUOTE A PASSAGE FROM "9 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT DR. SEUSS", "A CHANCE SIDEWALK ENCOUNTER LED TO DR. SEUSS'S FIRST CHILDREN'S BOOK. AFTER A 27TH PUBLISHER REJECTED HIS FIRST MANUSCRIPT, DR. SEUSS WALKED DEJECTEDLY ALONG THE SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK, PLANNING TO BURN THE BOOK IN HIS APARTMENT INCINERATOR. ON MADISON AVENURE, HOWEVER, HE BUMPED INTO DARTMOUTH FRIEND MIKE MCCLINTOCK, WHO THAT VERY MORNING HAD STARTED A JOB AS AN EDITOR IN THE VANGUARD PRESS CHILDREN'S SECTION. WITHIN HOURS, THE MEN SIGNED A CONTRACT, AND IN 1937 VANGUARD PRESS PUBLISHED 'AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET', WHICH LAUNCHED THE EXTRAORDINARY LITERARY CAREER OF DR. SEUSS. 'IF I HAD BEEN GOING DOWN THE OTHER SIDE OF MADISON AVENUE, I'D BE IN THE DRY-CLEANING BUSINESS TODAY', HE SAID LATER." This remarkable Association copy is lacking its dustjacket and does show light soiling (especially at the rear panel), a bit of wear along the edges and clear tape evenly reinforcing the spine. There's also pencil to the copyright page and light creasing along the lower-edges of the pages. Still though, it's solidly Good+ to VG- and is sturdy and very presentable. And, given the incredible story behind the book's publication, this is historically a very important, one-of-a-kind copy.
(Inventory #: 12952)
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