First Edition of Roald Dahl's The Gremlins; Inscribed by Him in the Year of Publication
The Gremlins. From the Walt Disney Production. A Royal Air Force Story.
Dahl, Roald; Walt Disney.$12,000.00
Item Number: 73076
New York: Random House, 1943.
First edition of Dahl’s rare first book, with 14 vibrant full-page illustrations by Walt Disney Productions. Quarto, original half cloth, pictorial endpapers. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page in the year of publication, “To Tim xxx from Roald Dahl 19/6/43 There should be a bowler hat and a tail.” Dahl has added a drawing of a hat and a tail on the gremlin. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable signed and inscribed in the year of publication.
Dahl was sent to Washington in 1942 as an assistant air attaché for the British Embassy. After having a story published anonymously in the Saturday Evening Post, he was encouraged by C. S. Forester. He produced The Gremlins, a children’s story expanding on a mythical creature enshrined for years in RAF lore (notwithstanding Dahl’s claims to have invented the word) and sent it to Sidney Bernstein, the head of the British Information Service, who sent it on to Walt Disney. Disney decided to make it into a movie, at one point bringing Dahl to Hollywood to work on the screenplay. The story was published in Cosmopolitan in December of 1942, and as a book by Random House six months later. The film project, however, was sidelined and has never been produced. The story was received positively: Eleanor Roosevelt read it to her grandchildren, and invited Dahl to the White House.