First American Edition of Little Pig Robinson, Containing Twenty-Five Black and White Illustrations Not Found in the English Edition

    Beatrix Potter. The Tale of Little Pig Robinson. Philadelphia: David McKay Company, [n.d., after 1930].

    Later issue of the first American edition, containing twenty-five black and white illustrations not found in the English edition. Small quarto (8.25 x 6.3125 inches; 209 x 161 mm.). [6], 141, [5, blank] pp. Color frontispiece and five color plates, black and white vignette on the title-page and thirteen black and white vignettes in the text (chapter head- and tail-pieces), and thirty-four full-page illustrations in black and white.

    Publisher's bright blue fine dotted-line-ribbed cloth with large color pictorial label on front cover. Spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Pictorial endpapers printed in green. Minimal rubbing to extremities, corners lightly bumped, endpapers slightly foxed and browned. Four-inch tear to pp. 77/78, repaired on the verso with cellotape, the tape offsetting onto the facing page. Otherwise a near fine, very bright copy. In the original color pictorial dust jacket (the jacket has a few small chips and tears; the spine and front panel are slightly darkened; and there is some offsetting and a few scratch marks on the rear panel).

    The later issue of the McKay American edition "differs from the earlier issue by having a blue cloth binding instead of green; the contents are printed on a lighter weight stock bulking to 1 cm. in thickness as opposed to 1.5 cm. in the first edition; and the dust jacket flaps are plain without any printed text" (Beatrix Potter: The Doris Frohnsdorff Collection, Christie's East, 16 April 1997, Lot 142). This copy is bound in blue cloth instead of green, and the dust jacket flaps are plain, but the text bulks to 1.7 cm.

    "In her letter of July 8th 1930, Beatrix Potter told Mr. McKay that Frederick Warne & Co's scheme 'is going to leave out a number of illustrations which I consider the best,' adding, 'but I hope you may care to include them in the U.S.A. edition...It is a good book to illustrate, I should quite enjoy doing a few more! If you want any to fill up--just tell me the number of the (type written) page, as I have kept the duplicates.' Mr. McKay was willing to produce a book with more black and white drawings than Warnes, and the American edition contains twelve more drawings, plus thirteen 'heads and tails' to the chapters. Referring to these latter as 'chapter ends', Beatrix Potter told Mr. McKay, 'I think myself that some of the 'chapter ends' are the best drawing of any.' She sent him sixteen for the eight chapters, but owing to lack of space, only thirteen were used. Of the other drawings she said, 'I think Pig Robinson looking into a shop window is the best black-and-white.' The color plates were the same in both English and American editions [except for the color illustration on the front cover which in the English edition appears only as a line drawing]" (Linder, pp. 257-258).

    Linder, p. 432; Quinby 30A; V & A 1678-1679 (describing the first American edition; this issue not in Linder, Quinby, or V & A).

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    June, 2008
    3rd-4th Tuesday-Wednesday
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