Eloise; A Book for Precocious Grown Ups. Kay Thompson, Hilary Knight, Illustrations.
Eloise; A Book for Precocious Grown Ups
Eloise; A Book for Precocious Grown Ups
Eloise; A Book for Precocious Grown Ups
Eloise; A Book for Precocious Grown Ups
Eloise; A Book for Precocious Grown Ups
Eloise; A Book for Precocious Grown Ups

Eloise; A Book for Precocious Grown Ups

New York: Simon and Schuster, c. 1955. Knight, Hilary. Hardcover. 16th printing of the first edition, quarto size, 67 pp. Fine / near fine. Item #CNFBV46

"Eloise" is the little girl every woman wanted to be in the mid-1950s; daring, charming, inquisitive, and who was, according to Maurice Sendak, a "brazen loose-limbed little monster" (n.b., per Chris Loker's "One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature").

Kay Thompson (born Catherine Louise Fink, 1909-1998) was a mildly succcessful actress but a wildly successful entertainer; in 1947 she left the screen to create a night club act called "Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers", which became an overnight sensation and within a year was the highest paid nightclub act in the world. Thompson lived at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, and began to write the short series (four books total published in Thompson's lifetime, and one published posthumously) around the character of Eloise, based on Thompson's "childhood imaginary friend and alter ego" (n.b., quote from Wiki).

Hilary Knight (b. 1926), born into an artistic family, is best known for his iconic black, white and pink illustrations for the Eloise books which he developed in collaboration with Kay Thompson.

This book, "Eloise", is the first in the series and remains popular today; this volume is the sixteenth printing in impeccable condition.

___DESCRIPTION: White woven paper over boards, title in red on front board and spine, vignette of Eloise in black on the front board, pictorial endpapers, title page in pink and black, title page illustration, copyright page with copyright date of 1955, this the 16th printing per the number line, illustrations (in black, white, and pink) throughout interspersed with text; quarto size (11.25" by 7 7/8"), pagination: [1-6, front endpapers and preliminary pages] 7-65 (note that pp. 13-14 are a fold-out extension of pp. 15-16), [66-67 rear endpapers]. Original dust jacket of ivory laid paper with an illustration on the front panel, pink and black lettering on the spine, illustration on back panel (mirroring that on the first text page), both flaps with "summary" of the book in a series of short sentences interspersed with vignettes of Eloise.

___CONDITION: Volume fine, with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, the fold-out extension firmly attached, and entirely free of prior owner markings; a bright, fresh example. The dust jacket near fine, it has been price-clipped, the colours on the front and back deep and vibrant, with truly minimal edgewear at the head of the spine, spine slightly sunned, a few specks of light soil on the back panel, else fine.

___CITATION: Loker no. 94.

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Price: $400.00