FIRST MAXFIELD PARRISH-ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF KENNETH GRAHAME'S DREAM DAYS, 1902, SIGNED BY MAXFIELD PARRISH
GRAHAME, Kenneth. Dream Days. London and New York: John Lane (University Press), (1902). Octavo, original gilt-stamped pictorial taupe cloth, top edge gilt, uncut.
First Parrish-illustrated edition, American issue, of Grahame's "convincingly unsentimental picture of childhood" (Lessing & Ousby), with frontispiece, illustrated title page, eight rich full-page photogravures, and six tailpieces by the incomparable Maxfield Parrish, calligraphically signed by Maxfield Parrish, in publisher's pictorial cloth-gilt.
Dream Days, a collection of stories about a family of parentless children and their various adventures, was first published in 1898, unillustrated, as a sequel to Grahame's first huge success: The Golden Age. Golden Age had achieved immediate popularity upon its publication in 1895 and Dream Days "was even more enthusiastically received" (Carpenter & Pritchard, 217). The success of these two volumes firmly established Grahame's literary reputation. This is the American edition of Maxfield Parrish's third illustrated book (the first being Baum's Mother Goose in Prose and the second the 1899 edition of Grahame's Golden Age), commissioned in 1899, but because Parrish had contracted tuberculosis, postponed until 1902. It contains photogravures of his illustrations, rather than the less desirable halftones used in the 1899 Golden Age (in 1904 Lane reissued The Golden Age with comparable photogravures of the Parrish illustrations). "An artist of consummate craft, invention and imaginative appeal, Parrish enjoyed a level of popular success unparalleled in the history of art… Much of Parrish's fame would forever be ascribed to Dream Days" (Yount, 10, 57). American issue, with "University Press" on copyright page; published the same year as the British issue, priority unknown.
Mild toning to page margins, minor offsetting from plates to text, inner hinges expertly reinforced, only a few spots of soiling and light rubbing to cloth. A handsome copy in near-fine condition.