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Nature As Muse

Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published in London on October 2, 1902. The best-loved children’s author was known for her love of nature, and the Lake District was the birthplace of many of her magical tales.

As we celebrate the 120th anniversary of this children’s classic, we explore landscapes that inspired other familiar writers.  

 

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  1. 16mo; inscribed on half-title and front and rear endpapers by Annie Maria Harris née Armitt; colour illustrations throughout, one leaf with vertical crease to right-hand side; publisher's green boards with inset rectangular panel to upper cover, pictorial endpapers, front free endpaper rubbed with slight surface loss to fore-margin, spine faded.

    £2,500
  2. First edition, first impression; 2 vols, 8vo; half titles to both volumes, as called for, 2 pp. publisher's ads at the end of vol. I, 16 pp publisher's catalogue at end of vol. II correctly dated June 1857, Wesley's bookbinder's label to rear paste down of the first volume, all primary issue points; publisher's purple cloth, elaborately tooled in blind to all boards, titles to spines gilt, cream coated endpapers, hinges just a little tender, spines inevitably somewhat faded but a stunning copy, entirely unsophisticated condition and a qenuine rarity thus; housed in an early twentieth century red cloth, solander box.

    £7,500
  3. Facsimile manuscript, number 474 of a limited edition of 500 copies; 12mo (154 x 91 mm, 6 x 3½ in); 8 colour illustrations tipped-in, 2 black-and-white illustrations tipped-in; gilt-ruled straight-grained dark green morocco, marbled edges, marbled endpapers, slipcase with gilt-stamped design to upper board, near-mint condition.

    £150
  4. First edition, one of 1000 copies; small crown 8vo; 4 full-page woodcuts by Vanessa Bell, none of the usual offsetting to woodcuts and browning to free endpapers; white paper boards printed in black with a design by Bell, brown cloth spine, edges lightly rubbed, an exceptionally clean and tight copy of this scarce item.

    £2,500
  5. 8vo; illustrations by the author; contemporary full chestnut morocco by Hatchard's Ltd., marbled endpapers and all edges gilt, fading to spine, with small stain to base and mild scratching to upper cover, otherwise very good and internally fine.

    £325
  6. 'Second edition' [first separate edition of this story]; 8vo; typical foxing throughout as usual, some minor creasing, publisher's buff wrappers printed in black, a trifle marked and very slightly nicked at the edges, staples at some point probably renewed. A very good copy.

    £750
  7. First (Library) edition, one of 275 copies(ý); 4to; printed on Japanese vellum, publisher's colour lithographed device to title, 12 full-page colour lithographed illustrations by Nicholson with captions, tissue guards, monogram bookplate to front pastedown; publisher's variant binding vellum-backed pictorial vellum boards, a little spotted and toned, slightly splayed.

    £1,500
  8. First edition, first or second printing, deluxe issue; 16mo; 27 colour plates, plain title vignette and colour pictorial endpapers by Beatrix Potter, 2 plates with superficial loss due to adhesion to facing pages, frontispiece lightly touched up to blank recto where cracking slightly, red run from cloth affecting fore-edge and lower fore-corner of most ff., with further impact to preliminary leaves, some other light soiling and finger-marking; publisher's lilac cloth with decorative gilt to design by Beatrix Potter, with inset colour illustration to upper cover, recased with hinges reinforced internally, some damp mottling and rubbing, presented in later cloth solander box.

    £750
  9. First Edition; large 8vo; 22 full-page illustrations by the author, slight toning, very occasional, random spotting, mostly to final few leaves; late 20th century full maroon morocco, gilt-panelled, marbled endpapers and original cloth cover and spine bound in at the rear, slight fading, upper, outer corner of front cover mildly bumped, otherwise very good.

    £850
  10. First edition, deluxe issue, third printing; 16mo; 27 colour plates, plain title vignette and colour pictorial endpapers by Beatrix Potter, small ink name to front free endpaper, overall internally very good; publisher's russet cloth with decorative gilt to design by Beatrix Potter, with inset colour illustration to upper cover, a little rubbing to corner-tips with fore-corners turning in ever so slightly, but overall an unusually good example, gilt edges.

    £1,350
 

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