Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

RACKHAM, Arthur / BARRIE, J.M.

FIRST EDITION OF PETER PAN, SIGNED BY RACKHAM

RACKHAM, Arthur Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

Hodder and Stoughton, 1906.

First edition. 4to. Russet cloth with gilt lettering and decoration. This book was a gift from Arthur Rackham to his brother in law Robert Starkie. Signed on the half title "From Arthur Rackham" Brown endpapers with map of Kensington Gardens on front free endpaper. Fifty colour plates mounted onto art paper and protected by captioned tissue guards. With the exception of the frontispiece all the plates are mounted together at the end of the text. A very good copy indeed.

Arthur Rackham married Edyth Starkie in July 1903. Edyth's family were less than enthusiastic about the marriage and on the day of the wedding their suspicions were almost confirmed. Edyth's father having died some years previously, it was to be her brother Robert giving her away. As they arrived at the church they spotted the bride groom disappearing in a hansom cab. "There you are Edyth. He's left you already," exclaimed Robert. In fact Arthur was dashing home to collect the forgotten wedding ring. Presumably the men overcame their differences and this copy is the first of a series of books presented by Rackham to his brother in law.
Generally considered to be Rackham's most desirable work, not least as it combines with J.M. Barrie's greatest work. It is most uncommon to find signed copies of this most important of Rackham's work.
In 1902 J.M. Barrie wrote the novel "the Little White Bird", the central chapters of which tell of a child named Peter Pan, "...who escaped from being a human when he was seven days old ... and flew back to Kensington Gardens." This part of the story was then developed by Barrie and the first book to appear with the title of Peter Pan was this 1906 version to which Arthur Rackham provided 50 magnificent colour illustrations.
A contemporary review of this book published in "The World" reads "Mr Barrie has done what no one else has done since the inventor of "Alice", he has invented a new legend, a modern folk story which comprehends all the innermost secrets of the modern child, be he four or forty. Mr Rackham, for his part, has been bewitched in his cradle: he does not dream of fairies or hobgoblins, he knows them."

PROVENANCE: Christmas gift to Robert Starkie (bookplate on pastedown) from Arthur Rackham.

Stock ID: 32090

£4,000.00

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