“AMONG THE BEST EVER WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN”: FIRST EDITIONS OF A.A. MILNE’S FOUR POOH BOOKS, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKETS
When We Were Very Young. WITH: Winnie-The-Pooh. WITH: Now We Are Six. WITH: The House At Pooh Corner. With Decorations by Ernest H. Shepard.
Milne, A.A.; Illustrated by Ernest Shepard.
Item Number: 61052
London: Methuen & Co., Ltd, 1924-1928.
First editions of each work in Milne’s Pooh quartet. Octavo, original cloth, pictorial endpapers, top edge gilt. Now We Are Six signed by A.A. Milne on the title page. Laid in is an original advertisement for The Christopher Robin Calendar, 1929 and When We Were Very Young Notepaper. Each are fine in near fine dust jackets with a touch of rubbing. Now We Are Six is signed by Milne on the title page. Also is an autographed letter signed from Milne on his letterhead attached to the inner box, which reads, “Dear Miss Ross, Here you are- and I’m so glad you liked Sarah Simple. Yours Sincerely A.A. Milne Of Course I remember you!” Housed in a custom full leather box by Zaehnsdorf. Illustrated by Ernest Shepard. An exceptional set.
“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). When We Were Very Young is second issue, as usual, with page ix numbered.