Signed Limited First Edition in the Original French of The Little PrinceAntoine de Saint-Exupéry. Le Petit Prince. Avec dessins par l'auteur. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, .
Signed limited first edition in the original French of The Little Prince. Limited to 260 numbered copies, of which 250 are for sale. This copy is No. 36, signed by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Small quarto (8.75 x 7.0625 inches; 222 x 180 mm.). [2, limitation leaf], 91, , [1, colophon], [1, blank] pages. Text illustrations in black and white and color.
Original salmon-colored cloth pictorially stamped and lettered in dark red on front cover and lettered in dark red on spine. Light rubbing to corners and spine extremities, spine very slightly darkened, a few tiny areas of slight discoloration to cloth on covers, endpapers a little browned. An excellent copy. In an original color pictorial dust jacket for the first trade edition, without the matching limitation number in ink on the spine and with the $2.00 price intact on the front flap (the publisher did not print a separate jacket for the signed limited edition, so the $2.00 price was clipped and the limitation number written in ink above the publisher's name on the spine). The jacket is slightly browned and a little rubbed, with a few small chips and tears, some repaired with tissue, those at the foot of the spine affecting a couple of letters in the publisher's name.
The signed limited first edition in French is even scarcer than the simultaneously published signed limited first edition in English, of which 525 copies were printed.
"An aviator, stranded in the Sahara Desert and trying to repair his plane, encounters the Little Prince, a child who has descended to earth from the asteroid where he is ruler and sole inhabitant. He tells the aviator of his journey to other asteroids, his encounters with the men who live there, and his other strange experiences. At the end of the story he dies, bitten by a snake, though the aviator believes he has in fact returned to his home in the skies...Marie-Antoine-Roger de Saint-Exupéry (1900-44), born in Lyons, was a commercial pilot during the 1930s and wrote several books based on his experiences. During the Second World War he served with Free French forces in Morocco, and disappeared on a reconnaissance flight over the Mediterranean [on July 31, 1944]" (The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature).
"Whether Saint-Exupéry wrote [The Little Prince] really for children or slyly for adults is not entirely clear. Figuratively speaking, the tale has something of Hans Christian Andersen in it, something of Lewis Carroll, and even, it may perhaps be said, a bit of John Bunyan. It is often lyrical, too often coy, sometimes profound...However it is classified, The Little Prince has entered children's literature, in the manner of quite a few other such hard-to-define works in the preceding centuries" (Pierpont Morgan 224).
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