First Edition of P.L. Travers' I Go By Sea, I Go By Land; Inscribed by Her in the Year of Publication
I Go By Sea, I Go By Land.
Item Number: 103991
New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1941.
First edition of this classic work, a fictional diary of Sabrina Lind, an eleven-year-old English girl who is sent on the long voyage across the sea to her aunt in America. Octavo, original cloth, frontispiece. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author in the year of publication on the front free endpaper, “K. Jean Bourne, P.L. Travers 6 December ’41.” With drawings by Gertrude Hermes. Near fine in a very good price-clipped dust jacket with reinforcement to the verso. Rare and desirable signed.
At the outbreak of World War II, Pamela (P. L.) Travers left England for America at the request of the British Ministry of Education. I Go By Sea, I Go By Land is an account of this evacuation to the United States told from the point of view of Sabrina, a dislocated eleven-year-old girl who keeps a diary of the adventure. Sabrina and her nine-year-old brother James are accompanied on this journey by a family friend named Pel and her baby Romulus. The book was first published in 1941 while Travers was still abroad and, as reported by her biographer Valery Lawson, intensely homesick; a homesickness expressed in the words of Pel: “It’s the earth I shall miss, quite apart from human relationships. It is necessary to me. I feel that my body is made of the woods and rivers.”