“I AM ELOISE. I AM SIX”: RARE FIRST EDITION OF KAY THOMPSON’S CLASSIC, ELOISETHOMPSON, Kay.
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Eloise. Drawings by Hilary Knight.
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955.
Slim quarto, original white pictorial cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. $4000.First edition of the first and rarest Eloise book.
“Eloise’s birth was unexpected. At rehearsals of her act with the Williams Brothers, Thompson [who was a professional singer] prized punctuality. Then one day she was late. In a high, childish voice that she had never used before, she made her apology. One of her co-workers said, ‘Who are you, little girl?’ Thompson replied, ‘I am Eloise. I am six.’ The others joined in the game, each assuming a juvenile identity, and it became a regular rehearsal pastime” (New York Times
). That pastime became a book, with three more to follow in Thompson’s lifetime. “Eloise became an alternative persona for Kay Thompson, much as the dummy Charlie McCarthy was for Edgar Bergen… [allowing] Thompson to express contrarian thoughts and ideas. Eloise took form as a lonely and whimsical child who created her own world” (Marie Brenner). Gift inscription.Text and boards slightly toned. Price-clipped dust jacket with light toning to spine, minor soiling. A near-fine copy of an elusive first edition.