“AMONG THE BEST EVER WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN”: FIRST EDITIONS OF A.A. MILNE’S FOUR POOH BOOKS, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKETS; The Winnie the Pooh Signed by Milne
The Four Pooh Books: When We Were Very Young; Winnie-The-Pooh; Now We Are Six; The House At Pooh Corner.
Milne, A.A.; Illustrated by Ernest Shepard.$20,000.00
Item Number: 95227
London: Methuen & Co., Ltd, 1924-1928.
First editions of each work in Milne’s wonderful Pooh quartet. Octavo, original cloth, pictorial endpapers, top edge gilt. Winnie the Pooh is signed by A.A. Milne on the title page. When We Were Very Young if a first edition, second issue as usual with page ix numbered. Each are fine in very good dust jackets with some loss and wear to the extremities and light toning. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box with a morocco inlay of Winnie the Pooh to the front panel. Illustrated by Ernest Shepard. An exceptional set, most rare and desirable with Winnie the Pooh signed by Milne.
“Although Alan Alexander Milne wrote novels, short stories, poetry and many plays for adults, in addition to his work as assistant editor for Punch from 1906 to 1914, it is his writings for children that have captured the hearts of millions of people worldwide and granted Milne everlasting fame” (Silvey, 461). Milne wrote most of these poems at the request of friend and fellow poet Rose Fyleman, who was planning a new children’s magazine. “On a rain-blighted holiday in Wales, [Milne] escaped from the crowd of fellow guests to the summerhouse, and for 11 days wrote a set of children’s verses, one each day… ‘There on the other side of the lawn was a child with whom I had lived for three years [his son, Christopher Robin]… and here within me were unforgettable memories of my own childhood.’ He added more verses when he got home, enough for a book, and allowed some to be published in advance in Punch” (Carpenter & Prichard, 351). Shepard, a Punch staff artist at the time, provided delightful line vignettes, resulting in “a wonderful marriage of verse and vision. His delicately precise and fresh drawings had an instant appeal” (DNB).