THE GIANT GOLDEN BOOK OF CAT STORIES
Inscribed first printing of this delightful feline folio, with fascinating correspondence about publication delays, edits, and a small crisis about unauthorized edits to the text for inclusion in a reader.
Near fine overall.
THE GIANT GOLDEN BOOK OF CAT STORIES
This inscribed copy of THE GIANT GOLDEN BOOK OF CAT STORIES includes a trove of information relating to the publication of the book and the events that followed, in the form of letters to the author Elizabeth Coatsworth. Chronologically first in the collection of seven notes included is a typewritten letter from Jane Werner of the Artists and Writers Guild, delivering the unfortunate news that CAT STORIES (then with the working title "Cat Tales") would be delayed for various reasons, including "production schedules" and "price rises." Feodor Rojankovsky, an esteemed mid-century trade illustrator, further threw in a complication: his popularity. Werner notes the "artist's schedule" as another factor leading to the publisher pushing the book back.
The story continues after publication: also included is a carbon copy of a frantic letter from Verna L. Wadleigh of Ginn and Company. In a classic case of failing to read the fine print, Wadleigh notes that, while she had secured permission to use a passage from CAT STORIES in Ginn and Company's SECOND READER, she neglected the passage in the agreement that required any textual changes be approved by the author and the Artists and Writers Guild. Written on New Year's Eve 1954, Wadleigh's stress is clear in her plea: "the reader is already to go to press and should Miss Coatsworth [...] withhold approval of the story, our publication date and contents of our entire book would be seriously affected [...] I am very much worried about the matter and shall have no peace of mind until I hear from you." Luckily, she did not have to wait long: on January 3, Lucille Ogle of the Guild replied with a mildly chastising letter giving her the go-ahead. Coatsworth took the drama in stride: "You may be amused by this tempest in a teapot," she wrote to a friend she calls M, with copies of the correspondence; "I've written them both my blessing, so read and toss away!" A useful trove of documents relating to the children's book publishing ecology of the 1950s.
First edition. New York: Simon and Schuster, (1953). 12.75'' x 9.25''. Original color pictorial boards. Color pictorial endpapers of cats and kittens. Illustrated in color. 66 pages. Inscribed by Coatsworth to title page. Three typewritten sheets, two carbon copies, two handwritten sheets, and one color pictorial card loosely laid in. Binding front joint cracked but sound, boards with a couple tiny spots of soil. Interior clean and bright.
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