London: Frederick Warne and Co., 1907. First Edition. Hardcover. Twenty-fourmo size, 85 pp. Good +. Item #CNJWEM057
Beatrix Potter (1866-1922) is likely one of the most beloved of childrens' book authors, for having given the world "Peter Rabbit" and his many companions, which have delighted children - and adults - for generations.
"The Tale of Tom Kitten" was the first story Beatrix Potter wrote after she purchased her "small farm" at Lakefield, Hill Top Farm; it was that garden which served as the setting for "Tom Kitten", with "countless details for the small child to find for himself, of flower and tree and butterfly" (n.b.,quote by Marcus Crouch as related in Linder).
This volume the first edition, the first, second, or third (they were identical per Linder) printing with the dedication reading "Dedicated To All Pickles, - Especially To Those That Get Upon My Garden Wall". The reference to "Pickles" referring to the kitten (borrowed from a neighborhood stone-mason) who served as the model for her drawings: she wrote in a letter describing that kitten that it "is very young and pretty and a most fearful pickle".
___DESCRIPTION: Greenish-brown paper over boards, white lettering on the front and spine, pictorial onlay on the front board of Tom Kitten, first edition endpapers (Quinby, Plate III.), colour frontis of Mrs. Tabitha Twitchit with her kittens in a garden one of the total of twenty-seven colour plates throughout, title page vignette of Mr. Drake Puddle-Duck; twenty-fourmo size (5 5/8" by 4 1/4"), pagination: [1-7] 8-85 (note that pagination includes the reverse sides of the colour plates which were left blank).
___CONDITION: A bit better than good, the boards mostly clean with a few light spots, the paper onlay unrubbed but a bit dusty, the corners straight with only the bottom front corner being lightly rubbed, the text block strong and square with solid hinges (some evidence of prior restoration), the interior mostly clean and bright (a few light smudges here and there), and the book entirely free of prior owner markings; the gutta-percha binding beginning to loosen so that several signatures appear sprung, and a few guttars are slightly cracked, but the signatures remain securely in place, the spine showing some wear to the paper covering at the joints (no loss of lettering), and pp. 20 and 21 with small abrasions to the paper (all in the margins, not affecting either the illustration or the text).
___CITATIONS: Quinby 13, with endpapers from Plate III. as called for; Linder pp. 185-187 and p. 427.
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