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BLATCHFORD, Mary Edgecumbe.

The Story of Little Jane and Me. [With] Polly and the Aunt. By the Aunt.

Published: Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Company, the Riverside Press, 1898 and October 1906

Stock code: 83337

Price: £1,500

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First editions, both inscribed by the author (the second work being the dedication copy) to Caroline Nelson Russell, “with the author’s love” on the first blanks, with “Cambridge, June 9, 1905” in the first work, and “Cambridge, October 6, 1906” in the second work. The Story of Little Jane and Me bears M. E. Blatchford’s own bookplate, making this her own copy, latterly inscribed and gifted, and also has notes in the author’s hand to the reverse of the illustrated plates, detailing the identity and the birth- (and sometimes death-) dates of the people depicted. Polly and the Aunt (which is the dedication copy, the printed dedication reading “To C. N. R. Thy acceptance Maketh blest”) contains the author’s manuscript additions of the real names of characters where they have been changed for publication (as well as some notes), confirming the intimate connection of the recipient to these works. These titles are very scarce in any state – the Osborne Collection of Children’s books has a 1926 reprint of Little Jane and no copy of Polly and the Aunt – and to have family copies in fine condition, bound for presentation by the press, and furthermore inscribed and annotated, one of them to the dedicatee, must be indeed a rarity.

2 works, octavo (196 140 mm). Both works in a presentation binding by the Riverside Press of contemporary red full morocco, spines gilt in compartments, double gilt ruled border to sides, gilt-rolled board edges, turn-ins elaborately gilt, marbled endpapers, red cloth bookmarkers, top edges gilt. Work 1 with monochrome portrait plates, work 2 with portrait frontispiece. Offset tanning to free endpapers from the turn-ins only, but otherwise fine copies.

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