First printing of the children's book about a heroic collie, adapted into a series of beloved films and television shows beginning in 1943.
Near fine in very good jacket.
"With her forepaw over one dog's body, Lassie faced the other dog..."
Knight's collie dog Lassie first appeared in a story for THE SATURDAY EVENING POST in 1938, based upon a love for the collies Knight and his wife raised on their Bucks Country, Pennsylvania farm. This expanded book about the character was published just before the United States entered World War II, when WWI-veteran Knight enlisted to serve in the US Army Special Services. In 1943, the year the first Lassie film was released, Knight was killed in an air crash. This first edition was illustrated by Marguerite Kirmse, who was famous for her etchings of dogs, depicting them "with an understanding and originality seldom found in other artists' work" (rear flap). The first book in a larger epic story of audiences' love affair with the sweet dog Lassie.
Chicago: The John C. Winston Company, (1940). 8.5'' x 6''. Original bright orange pictorial cloth stamped with central vignette of Lassie on front board. In original price-clipped color pictorial dust jacket. Orange topstain, cartographic endpapers. Illustrated by Kirmse with color frontispiece, 6 full-page black-and-white images, and vignettes throughout. viii, 248 pages. Ink gift inscription dated 1941 on front free endpaper; small Vancouver-based bookseller ticket on rear pastedown. Jacket with shallow chipping at spine ends and corners, a few closed tears repaired with tape on verso. Book spine with just a bit of wear.
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