FORD, FORD MADOX. The Brown Owl. A Fairy Story. By Ford H. Madox Hueffer. London: T. Fisher Unwin 1892. 12mo, original white cloth, covers, edges, and endpapers in an over-all blue floral pattern, spine darkened, cloth slipcase. FIRST EDITION, ENGLISH ISSUE, of the author's first book, with 2 illustrations by the Pre-Raphaelite artist (and Ford's grandfather) Ford Madox Brown, PRESENTATION COPY FROM BROWN TO THEODORE WATTS-DUNTON, inscribed by the illustrator on verso of front free endpaper: "Theodore Watts Esq. with F. Madox Brown's best wishes," with tissue guards at illustrations; Volume One of Unwin's "The Children's Library." Harvey Ala (describing this copy); Fredeman 91.6.
"[Ford] enjoyed telling his younger sister, Juliet, fairy stories, and when he wrote one of these down, his grandfather [Ford Madox Brown] was so delighted that he immediately made two illustrations for it, bullied Edward Garnett into seeing that Fisher Unwin published it, and rushed copies to all his friends. 'Dear Watts,' he wrote Watts-Dunton [in a letter of 22 September 1891 now at the University of Texas], 'By the same post I send you, & think you will like to see & have my grandson Ford's first book, The Brown Owl'...The success of [the book] made [the seventeen-year-old] Ford an author, and he quickly produced two more fairy stories, The Feather (1892) and The Queen Who Flew (1894), and a dozen short fairy tales"--Arthur Mizener, The Saddest Story. A Biography of Ford Madox Ford (New York, 1971), p. 17.