"I AM ELOISE. I AM SIX": RARE FIRST EDITION OF KAY THOMPSON'S CLASSIC, ELOISE
THOMPSON, Kay. Eloise. Drawings by Hilary Knight. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955. Slim tall quarto, original white pictorial cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. $3200.
First edition of the first and rarest Eloise book in the original dust jacket.
"Eloise's birth was unexpected. At rehearsals of her act with the Williams Brothers, Thompson [who was a professional singer] prized punctuality. Then one day she was late. In a high, childish voice that she had never used before, she made her apology. One of her co-workers said, 'Who are you, little girl?' Thompson replied, 'I am Eloise. I am six.' The others joined in the game, each assuming a juvenile identity, and it became a regular rehearsal pastime" (New York Times). That pastime became a book, with three more to follow in Thompson's lifetime. "Eloise became an alternative persona for Kay Thompson, much as the dummy Charlie McCarthy was for Edgar Bergen? [allowing] Thompson to express contrarian thoughts and ideas. Eloise took form as a lonely and whimsical child who created her own world" (Marie Brenner). "First Printing" stated on copyright page.
Book extremely good, with a bit of toning to interior and original cloth. Dust jacket near-fine, with only mild toning to extremities.