“TWO OF FICTION’S FONDEST DREAMERS”: FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF PETER IBBETSON, ILLUSTRATED BY THE AUTHOR
DU MAURIER, George. Peter Ibbeston. London: James R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., 1892. Octavo, original pictorial pale buff cloth. Housed in custom half brown morocco clamshell box. $750.
First English edition of George du Maurier’s first novel, his “story of two of fiction’s fondest dreamers” (Time).
Du Maurier made a name for himself as an illustrator for the popular magazine of political satire Punch; “his prose did not come until late in his life. In fact his success as a novelist surprised him almost as much as it did his public” (Kunitz & Haycraft, 203). Du Maurier “accepted a proposal to write a story for Messrs. Harper, the well-known firm of American publishers. The result of this offer was the romance, Peter Ibbetson, partly based upon recollections of his own early life, blended with a plot turning on a fantastic theory of the sympathetic relationship of dreams… The ample illustrations by the writer, in his most attractive style, also contributed greatly to its success” (DNB). With numerous line-engravings after the author’s drawings, several full-page. Volume II without half-title. Binding is Carter’s variant B (blacked and lettered in black as opposed to brown; priority not certain but probable). First published the previous year in serial form in Harper’s Magazine. Sadlier 1674a. Wolff 1950. Winterich, 104. Carter, Binding Variants, 163. Gift inscription.
Light toning to spines and edges of cloth. A very nearly fine copy.