“AMONG THE BEST EVER WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN”: FIRST EDITIONS OF MILNE’S FOUR POOH BOOKS
MILNE, A. A. The Four Pooh Books: When We Were Very Young; Winnie The Pooh; Now We Are Six; The House At Pooh Corner. London: Methuen, 1924-28. Four volumes. Small octavo, original pictorial cloth, top edges gilt, original dust jackets. Housed in a custom half leather slipcase and chemise.
First editions of Milne’s wonderful “Pooh Quartet,” in original dust jackets.
“Although Alan Alexander Milne wrote novels, short stories, poetry and many plays for adults, in addition to his work as assistant editor for Punch from 1906 to 1914, it is his writings for children that have captured the hearts of millions of people worldwide and granted Milne everlasting fame” (Silvey, 461). Milne wrote most of these poems at the request of friend and fellow poet Rose Fyleman, who was planning a new children’s magazine. “On a rain-blighted holiday in Wales, [Milne] escaped from the crowd of fellow guests to the summerhouse, and for 11 days wrote a set of children’s verses, one each day… ‘There on the other side of the lawn was a child with whom I had lived for three years [his son, Christopher Robin]… and here within me were unforgettable memories of my own childhood.’ He added more verses when he got home, enough for a book, and allowed some to be published in advance in Punch” (Carpenter & Prichard, 351). Shepard, a Punch staff artist at the time, provided delightful line vignettes, resulting in “a wonderful marriage of verse and vision. His delicately precise and fresh drawings had an instant appeal” (DNB). When We Were Very Young first edition, second issue as usual, with page ix numbered (any first edition copy is exceedingly scarce). Payne I.A-IV.A. Cutler & Stiles, 115-16. With vintage advertisements-testaments to Pooh’s perennial merchandising appeal-laid in to The House at Pooh Corner.
Books fine with cloth clean and gilt bright. When We Were Very Young and House at Pooh Corner dust jackets extremely good with light edge-wear, tape repairs to versos; sticker residue to front panel of House at Pooh Corner jacket. Remaining jackets about-fine. A most desirable near-fine first edition set of four cherished childhood classics.