First UK edition, limited issue. Number 78 from a limited edition of 100 copies only, the only British publication. Potter originally conceived the story “as a pendant to The Tailor of Gloucester – the lonely old man and the lonely old woman, but I could never finish it.” It was first written in 1909 under the title “The Little Black Kettle”. Potter picked up the unfinished story again in 1929 and rewrote it, intending it as part of Fairy Caravan, but the story was not included in the final text. In 1940, editor Bertha Mahony Miller asked for a story to print in the Horn Book Magazine and Potter set to re-writing the story yet again. Miller was so pleased with the story she decided to hold it for their 20th anniversary edition, where it was finally published in May 1944. Beatrix Potter had died in December 1943, aged 77, and never saw it published.
Small quarto. Original green cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt. With the dust jacket. Housed in a custom red cloth folding case. A fine copy.
Bibliography: Linder, p. 432; not in Quinby.Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary