The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame

GRAHAME, Kenneth / RACKHAM, Arthur

RACKHAM, Arthur The Wind in the Willows By Kenneth Grahame

New York, The Limited Editions Club, 1940.

First edition illustrated by Rackham. Large 4to. Number 300 of 2020 copies, signed by Bruce Rogers, the book's designer. Cream cloth spine with gilt lettering, paper covered boards with patterned design, preserved in publisher's card slipcase. Top edge gilt. Sixteen colour illustrations by Rackham. Introduction by A. A. Milne. A fine copy in a very good slipcase.

This was Rackham's last project and he worked on the watercolours through illness and up to his death. It is the only one of his major works to be first published posthumously. This edition of the book is the only one to include all sixteen colour illustrations, as the first trade and the English edition (published some eleven years later) features only twelve colour illustrations.

Grahame initially wanted Arthur Rackham to illustrate The Wind In The Willows, but Rackham declined. Around thirty years later, Elspeth invited Rackham for a walk along the Thames to view the many places and sights which inspired the stories lovingly created by her now deceased husband (d. 1932). He finally accepted and, amid the outbreak of WWII and personal illness, prepared a series of sixteen illustrations and several line drawings for the tale. This was his last project. Upon completion, the dying artist is said to have sunk into his pillow and said: "Thank goodness, that is the last one" (Hares-Stryker). His drawings were published posthumously in this limited first edition.

Stock ID: 42587

£1,750.00

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