First Edition of Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn; Inscribed by Him to His Editor
The Last Unicorn.
Beagle, Peter S.$2,000.00
Item Number: 70061
New York: The Viking Press, 1968.
First edition of Beagle’s classic second book, which follows the tale of a unicorn, who believes she is the last of her kind in the world and undertakes a quest to discover what has happened to the others.. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author to his editor, “David, who, for an editor, gives every sign of being human. Very suspicious Peter Beagle 31 March 1981.” Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Mel Williamson. A very nice association.
It took Beagle "close to two years" to write The Last Unicorn, and he states that "it was hard every step of the way". Beagle came up with the idea for the novel in 1962 while on an "artistic retreat" in Berkshire Hills after Viking Press rejected his novel, The Mirror Kingdom. He stated that though the idea for the novel was "just suddenly there", he also said that he had "read tons of fantasy and mythology" from childhood, and that his mother told him that he had shared a story about unicorns during a visit to one of the elementary school classes she taught. It has sold more than five million copies worldwide since its original publication, and has been translated into at least twenty languages (prior to the 2007 edition). In 1987, Locus ranked The Last Unicorn number five among the 33 "All-Time Best Fantasy Novels", based on a poll of subscribers. It was the basis for the 1982 animated film, directed and produced by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. The film includes the voices of Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, and Christopher Lee. The musical score and the songs were composed and arranged by Jimmy Webb, and performed by the group America and the London Symphony Orchestra, Barron (ed), Fantasy Literature 4A-24. Pringle, Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best Novels 38. Schlobin, The Literature of Fantasy 75. Survey of Modern Fantasy Literature II, pp. 530-33. Tymn (ed), Fantasy Literature, pp. 50-1.