"I like people who refuse to speak until they are ready to speak": First Edition of the Author’s Classic Work The Children’s Hour; Inscribed by Lillian Hellman

  • The Children’s Hour.

The Children’s Hour.


Item Number: 2236

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1934.

First edition of the playwright’s most well-known work. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author, “For Don, with affection Lillian.” In very good condition, lacking the rare dust jacket. A scarce book, especially so signed and inscribed.

Scotch Verdict: Miss Pirie and Miss Woods V. Dame Cumming Gordon, by Lillian Faderman, recounts the historical incident on which Hellman based her play. In 1810 in Edinburgh, Scotland, a pupil named Jane Cumming accused her schoolmistresses, Jane Pirie and Marianne Woods, of having an affair in the presence of their pupils. This was Hellman's first hit play and at the time, any mention of homosexuality on stage was illegal in New York State, but the play was such a success and so widely praised by critics that the subject matter was overlooked. Basis for the 1961 film directed by William Wyler and starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner. The play was most recently revived in London in 2011 starring Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss, directed by Ian Rickson.

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