“ALMOST NOTHING ELSE IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE EQUALS PINOCCHIO FOR WILDNESS OF INVENTION”: RARE FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, 1892
COLLODI, Carlo. The Story of a Puppet or The Adventures of Pinocchio. Translated from the Italian by M.A. Murray. Illustrated by C. Mazzanti. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1892. Small octavo, original white cloth with blue floriated pattern, floriated endpapers and edges. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box.
Rare first edition in English of Collodi’s classic tale of the marionette who comes to life.
“Italy… gave to the world a book so universal in its appeal as to necessitate mention whenever fantasies for children are discussed” (Meigs, 373-4). Considered “one of the best known fantasies, and the most popular children’s book to come out of Italy… Almost nothing else in children’s literature equals Pinocchio for wildness of invention” (Carpenter & Prichard, 413-4), the story first appeared as a serial in Italian from July 1881 to January 1883 and was published in book form under the title Le Avventure di Pinocchio in 1883. “The tale is notable for its universality, its blend of imagination and humor, its lively pace, and its ethereal charm. But it has a dark side—its honest depiction of children’s fears. Pinocchio has been criticized for its didacticism, a characteristic of 19th-century children’s literature, but it has also been praised for its refreshingly modern, highly pragmatic morality. Pinocchio delicately balances fantasy and reality, and therein lies its source of greatness” (Silvey, 157). This translation by M.A. Murray was the first English translation. Collodi’s tale was made into the notable Disney animated feature film in 1940. With 37 illustrations by C. Mazzanti. Half title and title page printed in red and black.
Text generally quite nice, only mild toning to cloth extremities, spine leaning slightly. A lovely copy.