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The Little White Bird....

Or Adventures in Kensington Gardens.

Availability: In stock

Published: New York Charles Scribner's Sons, 1902

Stock Code: 128683

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First US edition, first printing, inscribed by the author on the first blank, "Yours sincerely, J. M. Barrie", together with a letter tipped in to the front free endpaper relating to the circumstance of the signing. The letter agreeing to arrange for the inscription, dated 21 April 1927, is signed "C. Greene (For Sir James Barrie)", that is, by Barrie's personal secretary, Lady Cynthia Asquith, daughter-in-law of the former prime minister. The inscription was solicited by William D. Vincent (1866-1935), book collector, president of Old National Bank of Spokane, Washington, and amateur historian interested in Pacific Northwest history; with his illustrated bookplate to the front pastedown.
Additionally tipped in is a photo postcard of Barrie's birthplace at Kirriemuir to the front free endpaper verso and a playbill for a 1910 run of Peter Pan at the Willis Wood Theater in Kansas City, with Maude Adams in the title role. Maude Adams (1872-1953) was the most successful and highest-paid performer of her day, and achieved her greatest success as Peter Pan, first playing the role in the 1905 Broadway production.
This is the first appearance in print of Peter Pan, in which Peter appears as a seven-day-old infant in this book-within-a-book story-collection for adults. Barrie was increasingly turning away from prose to concentrate on drama at this time, and two years later Peter Pan opened on 27 December 1904, breaking all previous theatrical records. In 1906 Barrie sanctioned the publication of the children's gift book, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, with the text extracted from The Little White Bird and illustrated by Arthur Rackham. The text of the stage play was not published until 1928, the year after this inscription.

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Octavo. Original green cloth, titles and pictorial decoration to spine and front cover in gilt, top edge gilt.


Title page printed in red and black. Illustrated map of Kensington gardens.


Paper residue to foot of front pastedown. Spine ever so slightly rolled, slight rubbing to spine ends and tips, a little bleed-through from Barrie's signature to first blank verso, offsetting from playbill to rear free endpaper; a very good, bright, copy.


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