“I AM ELOISE. I AM SIX”: RARE FIRST EDITION OF ELOISE, SIGNED KAY THOMPSON
THOMPSON, Kay. Eloise. Drawings by Hilary Knight. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955. Slim quarto, original white pictorial cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket.
First edition of the first and rarest Eloise book, signed by Kay Thompson.
“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).
Book with only a few spots of faint soiling and slight rub to inscription page, dust jacket with a few faint stains and two closed tears to extremities. A lovely signed copy in near-fine condition.