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ADAMS, Richard.

Watership Down.

Illustrated by John Lawrence.

Published: Harmondsworth: Penguin Books & Kestrel Books, 1976

Stock code: 104326

Price: £2,500

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

Number 175 of 250 specially bound and signed copies of the first illustrated edition of Adams’s first novel, this copy with a fine original watercolour by John Lawrence to the first blank initialled by him in the bottom right-hand corner, with his full signature on the frontispiece. This extremely popular animal story was initially turned down by all major publishing houses. When finally issued by Rex Collings in 1972, sales exceeded 100,000 in the first year and Adams was awarded both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Award for children’s fiction.

Octavo (230 152 mm). Original dark green crushed morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, raised bands forming compartments to spine, titles direct to second and third gilt, fleurons to first and fifth and rabbit motifs to fourth and sixth gilt, rabbit vignette to front board in gilt, edges and turn-ins gilt, green and yellow endbands, marbled endpapers. In the marbled slipcase as issued. Original watercolour by the artist to the first blank, colour frontispiece, numerous illustrations to the text in colour and black and white, folding colour map tipped-in at rear. Spine sunned; an excellent copy.

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