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[POTTER, Beatrix.] HEELIS, Beatrix.

The Fairy Caravan.

[Ambleside: for the Author,] 1929 Stock Code: 109175
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One of 100 copies, this a presentation copy inscribed by the author

First edition, UK issue, number 26 of 100 copies only. A touching presentation copy, inscribed by Potter on the front free endpaper, "To Mr & Mrs Wight of Graythwaite - in affectionate remembrance - from Beatrix Heelis. June. 10th 1930", together with an autograph letter from Potter to the Wights laid-in, consoling them on the loss of Mollie, their daughter, and writing that she had had it in mind to bring a copy of the book over for her: "I hope time is softening the pain of parting and that you can take comfort in thinking of her safe from the storms and cold of this earthly pilgrimage." She writes of her plans to visit soon, and notes an amusing anecdote of Mrs Wight's father ("I was taken aback when I joked about Mount Everest and he said he had been there!").

Several years later this copy made a serendipitous journey: it was mistakenly sold by Mrs Wight to a Kendal bookseller, resold to a bookseller in Hertford, and finally purchased by Leslie Linder. In a letter laid-in from Linder to Mrs Wight, he returns the book to its rightful owner, and asks in return not for payment but for any memories Mrs Wight might have of Potter. There is no record of Mrs Wight's reply, but Linder's response to her note also accompanies the book, thanking her "for the account of Mrs Heelis... I know from experience that notes like these are not written in five minutes." A photograph of Mr and Mrs Wight is also laid in.

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Large octavo. Original grey green boards with dark green cloth spine, titles to front board in black, all edges untrimmed. Housed in a blue velvet-lined solander box.


6 colour and numerous monochrome illustrations in the text by the author.


Spine ends rubbed, front hinge split but holding, some spotting to first few leaves.


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