Our shops are open and we are processing online, telephone and email orders as normal

CATHER, Willa Sibert.

The Troll Garden.

New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., 1905 Stock Code: 131568
Reserve Ask us a question

Presentation copy to Howard Pyle

First edition, first printing. Presentation copy of the author's first prose work, warmly inscribed by the author to the American illustrator and writer Howard Pyle, "Will Mr. Howard Pyle accept through me the love of seven big and little children to whom he taught the beauty of language and of line, and to whom, in a desert place, he sent the precious message of Romance. Willa Sibert Cather, April 26, 1906", with Pyle's illustrated bookplate on the front pastedown. The "seven big and little children" referred to by Cather were herself, her five siblings, and their live-in cousin. The "desert place" refers to Nebraska, where the family moved in 1883, and the "precious message of Romance" was provided by Howard Pyle's works such as The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, published in that year, and Otto of the Silver Hand (1888) of which Cather was notably fond (Harris). Pyle was an evident influence on Cather's own work, and in a January 1897 Home Monthly article Cather described Pyle's works as "some of the best juvenile books published", noting that Pyle "is as careful and painstaking and artistic with his children's books as the very best novelists are with their novels". This work was presented during the short period in 1906 that both Cather and Pyle were employed at McClure's Magazine; Cather starting as managing editor in early April, and Pyle as art editor just prior. Although Pyle resigned his position on 10 August "Cather must have been thrilled to meet the man whose works had contributed so much to her childhood world of play", as evidenced by her grateful inscription in this, her first published prose work. Inscribed copies of this work are notably uncommon, with just seven other examples traced at auction.

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo. Original red vertical grain cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt, front cover decorated in blind, fore and bottom edges untrimmed, a couple gatherings unopened. With the supplied dust jacket. Housed in a red morocco-backed folding case.


With the bookplate of collector Frederick Baldwin Adams Jr. to the front free endpaper verso. Minor rubbing to spine ends and tips, edge of front pastedown scraped, inner front hinge cracked but firm, gauze visible at half-title gutter; else a near-fine copy in the soiled supplied jacket with chips to spine ends and tips, a couple of scruffs and closed tears.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book