When We Were Very Young.
With decorations by E. H. Shephard.London: Methuen & Co, July 1925 Stock Code: 96008
Deluxe edition, with the glassine jacket and original boxTenth impression, second deluxe edition. When We Were Very Young was first published on 6 November 1924. Copies of the seventh and tenth impressions were later issued in deluxe bindings. Milne had no particular ambition to write for children, but in 1922 a glimpse of his two-year-old son Christopher being taught to pray by his nanny inspired him to compose the verse "Vespers", a gently ironic take on the innocence of childhood intended for an adult readership, which was published in Vanity Fair in January 1923. It proved popular, and Milne was asked to contribute to The Merry-Go-Round, a new periodical for children. The success of these pieces led him to consider writing further verses for children, and he composed most of When We Were Very Young as entertainment during a dreary holiday in Wales. Many of the poems first ran as weekly instalments in Punch, charmingly illustrated by fellow contributor Shepard. When We Were Very Young was first published in London on 6 November 1924 to immense acclaim, and the first printing sold out in one day. By the end of the year more than 53,000 copies had been printed of what The Times called "the greatest children's book since Alice" (Thwaite p. 286).
Octavo. Original limp red calf, illustration and rules to front board and spine gilt, pictorial endpapers, all edges gilt. With the original glassine jacket and the publisher's card box, white paper title labels to lid printed in blue.
Illustrated throughout by E. H. Shepard.
Publisher's card box missing side-flaps, but nonetheless a fine copy in the exceptional glassine jacket.
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