Signed limited first American edition, one of only 100 large paper copies signed by Milne (out of a total edition of 500), of the first book in the Winnie-The-Pooh series.
Near fine in good only jacket.
WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG
"It takes genius to identify itself with a child's blithe inconsequence... Lewis Carroll had the gift. Stevenson had it... Kipling when he wrote the JUST SO STORIES. There are unmistakable signs of it in Mr. A.A. Milne." – contemporary review in the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE
When Milne – a successful playwright, novelist, and PUNCH columnist – decided to turn his hand to children's verse, his American publisher recalled the anxiety it occasioned: "We are all aware that probably the most hopeless kind of manuscript a publisher expects to receive from his favourite author is that of poetry for children" (quoted in Thwaite). Milne's goal with the collection was to write "Like Stevenson, only better" (referring to the classic CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES). Published only two weeks after the UK first, this first Pooh book would quickly become a phenomenon: since "Christopher Robin goes hoppity, hoppity, hop," one mother from New York recorded, "We all had to hop. We kept it up until I was overcome by exhaustion" (quoted in Thwaite). One of the 100 signed copies, especially retaining its dust jacket, is exceptionally desirable.
Read more: Thwaite, Goodbye Christopher Robin: A.A. Milne and the Making of Winnie-The-Pooh.
New York: Dutton, (1924). 8'' x 5.25''. Original quarter green cloth, color pictorial boards. In original color pictorial dust jacket. Blue topstain, other edges uncut and partially unopened. Illustrated by Shepard with color jacket design and pictorial endpapers (neither of which appear in the U.K. edition) and black-and-white images throughout the text. xiv, 100 pages. Signed by Milne and Shepard on limitation page. Rubbing to bottom edge and tips of cloth, with marginal toning to boards: interior clean. Scarce jacket with wear, significant chipping (including top.5'' of jacket lack lacking on panels and spine), and extensive repairs.
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