"I EITHER BEHOLD A FATA MORGANA, OR I AM REGULARLY TIPSY": FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN'S THE SHOES OF FORTUNE, 1847
ANDERSEN, Hans Christian. The Shoes of Fortune, and Other Tales. London: Chapman and Hall, 1847. Octavo, original blind- and gilt-stamped green cloth, all edges gilt. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $3800.
First edition in English of this collection of classic fairy tales, illustrated with four plates by Otto Speckter and numerous line drawings, in original cloth.
The present volume contains 11 fairy tales translated for the first time by Charles Boner, including the title story, "The Fir Tree," "The Snow Queen" and "The Red Shoes." Andersen's first fairy tales were published in Denmark in 1835; "Andersen took ten years to reach England, but when he arrived in 1846 he arrived plentifully: four volumes being published with that date by three different translators" (Hürlimann, 51). This "book appeared in December, 1846, the last of five English translations [of Andersen's various works] to appear that year" (Osborne, 581). Though Boner had translated from the German two earlier selections of Andersen's tales in 1846, titled A Danish Story-Book and The Nightingale and Other Tales, this collection was the first translation of these particular Andersen favorites. Hersholt English 2. Osborne, 581. Bookplate of L.G.E. Bell, the noted children's book collector. Tiny bookseller ticket. Contemporary owner gift inscription.
Interior generally fine, only tiny split to front inner paper hinge, only slightest toning to cloth spine, gilt quite bright. An unusually lovely copy in very nearly fine condition.