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Slovenly Peter.
  • 92163

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(TWAIN, Mark, trans.) HOFFMANN, Dr. Heinrich.

Slovenly Peter.

Der Struwwelpeter. Translated into English jingles from the original German of Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann by Mark Twain with Dr. Hoffmann's illustrations, adapted from the rare first edition by Fritz Kredel.

Published: New York: The Marchbanks Press, for the members of the Limited Editions Club, 1935

Stock code: 92163

Price: £325

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Limited edition, number 962 of 1,500 copies, preceding the first trade edition by Harper & Brothers, which was published in the same year. In her foreword Mark Twain’s daughter, Clara Clemens, recounts how her father spent three days and three nights translating Struwwelpeter as a Christmas gift for his children while the family was staying in Berlin in 1891 during their European tour. Twain intended his publishing house, the Webster Company, as well as Chatto and Windus of London to publish his translation of what he considered to be “the most celebrated child’s book in Europe” but for copyright reasons his Slovenly Peter was not published until 1935, 25 years after his death. “For this edition, the original drawings of Dr. Hoffmann were re-drawn in 1934, in Frankfurt-am-Main, by Fritz Kredel” (colophon). Hoffmann’s Struwwelpeter was first published in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1845 and in English, in an anonymous translation, in 1848.

Quarto. Original pink morocco-backed white cloth decorated in colour with characters of the story, titles to spine in gilt. With the original glassine jacket and in the original blue flock slipcase, with chemise. Hand-coloured illustrations in the text throughout. Spine lightly rubbed at tail, endpapers faintly foxed, the occasional minor blemish to contents. Glassine jacket slightly chipped; chemise with joints starting; slipcase rubbed, faded and chipped at extremities. An excellent copy.

Bibliography: Emerson p. 177; The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature p. 104.

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