A WONDERFUL SET OF FIRST EDITIONS OF KAY THOMPSON'S BELOVED ELOISE BOOKS, THE SCARCE FIRST BOOK INSCRIBED AND SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR
THOMPSON, Kay. Eloise. WITH: Eloise in Paris. WITH: Eloise at Christmastime. WITH: Eloise in Moscow. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955-59. Together, four volumes. Slim folios, original cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jackets. $12,000.
First editions of all four of Thompson's popular "book for precocious grown ups" and its sequels published in her lifetime: Eloise, Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmastime and Eloise in Moscow—the rare first book inscribed on the front free endpaper, "For Gil Golding from the author—Kay Thompson." A desirable set.
"While still on tour with the Williams Brothers sometime around 1950, [singer] Thompson had arrived late to a rehearsal one night and playfully apologized to the crew in a high little girl voice, identifying herself as a six-year-old named Eloise. The character became a recurring joke, and Thompson played the part of the mischievous child… As the personality of the tyke emerged in Thompson's spontaneous riffs, Eloise became increasingly well defined, and a friend suggested that she become the subject of a book. The friend introduced Thompson to Hilary Knight, a well-known children's illustrator, and the combination clicked" (ANB).
All books and dust jackets near-fine to fine, with only minor wear; faint dampstain to rear panel of first book. A rare and most desirable set.