First collected edition of this early version in verse of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," bound with two other tales, all illustrated with magnificently animated wood engravings.
"Any text of the story dated before 1850 is a rare and desirable possession." – Eric Quayle
Like many classic fairy tales, the exact origin of "The Three Bears" is unknown; while Southey published a version in 1837 in the literary magazine THE DOCTOR, an earlier manuscript version by Eleanor Mure dates to 1831. In all the earliest versions, the intruder isn't a little blonde girl but an old woman: the illustrations in this edition picture a delightful old woman with spectacles, cane, and mischievous smile. The housebreaker first evolves into a little girl with dark, curly hair in an 1856 edition called "Silver Locks." It would not be until 1888 than an American edition would turn the girl blonde – and the name "Goldilocks" doesn't appear until 1904. Nichol first set the text to verse for Christmas in 1837, using Sothey's edition: this is the first collected version of that text, with two appended tales "written" by one of the bears. OCLC lists 6 institutions with holdings. A wonderful early collection, in which the illustrations steal the show.
Read more: Quayle, Collector's Book of Children's Books, 73; Lotherington, Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Rewriting Goldilocks.
London: Wright, 1841. Full title: The three bears. The wolf and the seven kids. The vizier and the woodman. 4'' x 5.25''. Original full green cloth, blind-stamped ornamental borders and spine, gilt-stamped central vignette and titling. Yellow endpapers. Illustrated 37 full-page wood engravings by Robert Hart after C.J. With collected vignette title page, another vignette title for THREE BEARS, and half titles for the last two stories. , 188,  pages. Housed in custom quarter green goatskin clamshell box. Binder ticket on rear pastedown. Spine slightly rolled, some bubbling to cloth, front hinge expertly repaired with minor restoration to cloth extremities. Text clean; shows beautifully.
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