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EMETT, Rowland.

Nellie Come Home; New World for Nellie [US title; with duplicate copy].

Published: New York & London: Harcourt, Brace & Company; Faber and Faber, 1952

Stock code: 101848

Price: £975

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

First editions, first impressions, published simultaneously in the UK and the US. With a presentation inscription by the author to his US publisher, Margaret McElderry, on the front free endpaper of New World for Nellie: “For Margaret, without whom it would not (repeat not) have even got onto the paper! With my best wishes, from Rowland”. During her twenty-five years at Harcourt Brace, first as editor then as publisher of children’s books, Margaret McElderry (1909–2011) published classics such as Mary Norton’s The Borrowers and the fist book in The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper. With a typed letter signed from James Thurber to McElderry asking her to arrange a meeting with Emett, whom he “always wanted to meet (…), but not at a large and noisy party”. Also loosely inserted are two early 1950s publicity photographs of the author (approximately 245 x 190 mm each), showing him at work and relaxing with his family in Polperro Harbour, Cornwall. Emmett’s children’s book Nellie Come Home was based on Nellie, his “most famous steam engine” (ODNB), which was one of the most popular attractions at the Festival of Britain. The duplicate copy of New World for Nellie is bound upside down and signed and dated “in reverse” by Emett. A lovely little collection of Emett material.

3 copies, quarto. Original yellow cloth, titles to front boards in red and black. With the pictorial dust jackets. Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white by the author. The occasional minor nick or bump to boards, contents bright. An excellent set in slightly edge-chipped jackets with toning to spines and light silverfish damage to folds of flaps; 2 jackets price-clipped.

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