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The Story of A Fierce Bad Rabbit.
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POTTER, Beatrix.

The Story of A Fierce Bad Rabbit.

Published: London & New York: Frederick Warne and Co., 1906

Stock code: 109264

Price: £3,250

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First edition, first issue, with “London & New York” on the rear cover, in a variant binding not noted by Quinby. At the start of 1906, Potter planned three books in a panoramic form, with 14 pictures and 14 pages of text: The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit, The Story of Miss Moppet, and The Sly Old Cat, but only the first two were published. Issued for the 1906 Christmas market, the books were too easily damaged, so “the shops sensibly refused to stock them because they got unrolled and so bad to fold up again” Potter wrote (Linder, p. 183). The panoramic design was dropped and the books brought into line with the rest of the series in 1916 (see item 36 below). The Warne archive contained two copies of this red variant, both stamped “Not to be taken away”. Perhaps the red outer case was judged to be a mismatch with the green linen-backed material inside it and it remained a trial binding. It is certainly much the rarer of the two.

Sextodecimo. Panorama mounted on pale green linen back, arranged in pairs with text on recto and illustration on facing verso, and folded concertina-style into the original red cloth wallet case, with closing tab heightened with silver, and pictorial label to front cover. Housed in a red flat-backed solander box. With 14 colour illustrations by the author. Sides faded, some marks to covers, a little foxing to linen back of concertina, text and illustrations unaffected. An excellent copy of a publication too easily subject to wear.

Bibliography: Linder p. 426.

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