London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1906. Rackham, Arthur. First and Limited Edition. Hardcover. First edition with Arthur Rackham illustrations, no. 128 of 500 copies, quarto size, 236 pp., inscribed by J. M. Barrie to the real "Peter Pan", Pauline Chase and signed by Arthur Rackham. Near fine. Item #CNJWEM006
A superb and utterly unique association copy, this volume has a very special inscription by J. M. Barrie: "To Pauline Pan / a great Peter / from a grateful / JMB", dated Dec. 16, 1928; this refers to Pauline Chase (1885-1962), an American actress who starred as Peter Pan in the London debut of the play, a role she performed from 1906-1913.
Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937) wrote numerous novels and plays for both children and adults, but he is best known for "Peter Pan", a hugely successful play set in the magical world of Neverland; the play has been performed many times and has been adapted in films and literary works. The beloved character first appeared in Barrie's novel "The Little White Bird"; the several chapters to feature Peter Pan are reproduced here as "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens".
This deluxe edition is profusely illustrated by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939), an eminent illustrator of many books which often depict fantasy and fairy tale subjects; Rackham contributed illustrations to many popular stories, such as "Cinderella", "Sleeping Beauty", "Alice in Wonderland", and the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Here Rackham creates fifty colour plates, one as the frontispiece and forty-nine tipped-in following the text. Interestingly, Rackham held Barrie in such high esteem that he even named his cat "Jimmy" after Barrie; that admiration shines forth in his incredible illustrations for this work.
This volume has been rebound in quarter white vellum, with newer white endpapers, but retaining the original brown endpapers bound in.
___DESCRIPTION: Newer binding of quarter white vellum with light grey paper boards, gilt decorative rules along the edges of the vellum, the spine with decorative rules and floral ornaments in gilt, brown leather spine label with gilt lettering, grey,pink and blue triple-sewn endbands, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges uncut, original brown endpapers bound in featuring a map of Kensington Gardens on the front free endpaper, frontispiece a tipped-in full-colour plate on heavy brown paper by Arthur Rackham with lettered tissue guard, title page with two black-and-white illustrations, forty-nine (not including frontispiece) tipped-in colour plates collected at the end of the text on heavy brown paper by Arthur Rackham, all with lettered tissue guards; quarto size (11" by 9"), pagination: [i-vi] vii-xii 1-125 [126-224], one of 500 copies, this number 128, signed and numbered by Arthur Rackham on the limitation page at the front of the book, inscribed by J. M. Barrie (see above) on the original front endpaper.
___CONDITION: Near fine, with clean boards, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; a few light, stray marks to the paper boards but overall clean, hint of rubbing to the bottom corners, a couple of small, shallow bumps to the bottom edges of the boards, light foxing to the half-title page and to the margins of some pages throughout, shallow creases to the top right corners of the brown paper and to some of the tissue guards. Note that the Barrie inscription to Pauline has faded somewhat over time but is still clearly legible. Overall a lovely copy with a unique association.
___CITATIONS: Latimore & Haskell pp. 27-28; Riall p. 74; Garland no. 33.
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