Signed limited first edition, one of only 525 copies, of this patriotic wartime book of fairy tales with traditional stories from all the countries who had joined the Allied Forces by 1916.
ALLIES FAIRY BOOK
In the introduction Edmund Gosse explains that the stories were collected to connect "the fighting friends of humanity," citing the "almost universal distribution of fairy tales." In addition to familiar classics like "Jack the Giant-Killer" (England) and "Sleeping Beauty" (France), the anthology includes tales from countries less commonly remembered as allies during the First World War, including "The Fox's Wedding" (Japan) and "Cesarino and the Dragon" (Italy). Because the United States did not enter the war until 1917, no American tale is included; Gosse notes that "since we went to press, we have received the good news that Rumania has joined the eight Allies. In another edition, we hope to give a specimen of her folk-lore, and (who knows?) of that of some other friendly Power." The blue tones of the two-headed Welsh giant depicted in the frontispiece and the golden peahens of the Serbian tale are particularly stunning, and excellent examples of Rackham's disciplined use of color and line.
London: William Heinemann, (1916). Quarto. 9.5'' x 7.5''. Original full blue pictorial cloth stamped in gilt on spine and front board. Pictorial endpapers designed by Rackham. Top edge gilt, all other edges uncut, blue silk ribbon marker. Introduction by Edmund Gosse. Twelve full-page color illustrations tipped onto brown card inside printed frames, each covered by tissue guards with printed quotes, black and white headpieces, tailpieces, and vignettes throughout text. Limitation page signed by Rackham on verso of half title. Housed in custom quarter leather slipcase. Just a hint of spotting to cloth.
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