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The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Beatrix Potter, 1901
POTTER, Beatrix (1866-1943). The Tale of Peter Rabbit. London: Privately printed, 1901.

Privately printed first edition of Beatrix Potter's first book, one of only 250 copies of the first issue. "[Potter] sent the manuscript to at least six publishers without success. Finally, in 1901, she decided to have the book privately printed, at her own expense ... The books were ready on 16 December and Miss Potter began giving them away to selected friends and relatives and selling them to others at one shilling, two pence each. By this time, however, Beatrix Potter's career had already been given its first impetus, for the publisher Frederick Warne & Co. had agreed to accept the book for publication in a regular trade edition. But in February 1902, before the trade edition was ready, Miss Potter ordered another 200 copies to be printed of her private edition; this second issue had a rather better binding, with rounded back and darker printed boards.” The present copy is from the first issue, with a flat spine. Gottlieb/Morgan Library, Early Children's Books and Their Illustration 220; Quinby 1.

12mo. Color frontispiece, monochrome illustrations throughout. Original light grey pictorial boards with a flat spine (a little soiling to lightly worn covers and spine ends, tiny ink mark to fore-edge); custom box. Provenance: Neville L. Fakes (his sale, Sotheby's 11 and 12 July 2002, lot 701).

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Heather Weintraub
Heather Weintraub Specialist, Books, Manuscripts, & Archives

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