"I AM GLAD YOU ARE PLEASED WITH THE DRAWINGS… I WILL GLADLY DO THE SAME IN "WINNIE-THE-POOH": FIRST EDITION OF NOW WE ARE SIX, IN ORIGINAL PUBLISHER'S DELUXE CALF-GILT BINDING, WITH A 1930 TIPPED-IN SIGNED AUTOGRAPH LETTER BY ERNEST SHEPARD EXPRESSING HIS WILLINGNESS TO COMPLETE DRAWINGS RELATED TO WINNIE-THE-POOH, POSSIBLY IN AN ADMIRER'S COPY
MILNE, A.A. Now We Are Six. London: Methuen, (1927). Small octavo, original limp blue calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and covers, pictorial endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $6500.
First edition, in original publisher's deluxe calf-gilt binding, with a 1930 tipped-in signed autograph letter written entirely in Ernest Shepard's hand on his personal home stationery expressing happiness that his correspondent enjoyed his most recent drawings; thanking him for sending a check; and committing to work on drawings related to Winnie-the-Pooh—possibly in his correspondent's copy of the book—after returning from a trip abroad.
This delightful collection of poetry featuring Christopher Robin and his famous bear is the third book in Milne's classic "Pooh Quartet." Along with the first book, When We Were Very Young (1924), this title "enjoyed immediate and phenomenal success, and through the years the fun and surprise in them, and the gaiety evoked by their meticulous meter, amusing rhymes and pictorial quality have made them only a little less known to English-speaking children than the rhymes of Mother Goose… In these poems children can see themselves, while adults catch nostalgic glimpses of the children they once were, the children they once knew, or see with absolute clarity the very children to whom they are reading the rhymes" (Meigs et al., 594). Beginning in 1925, a small number of the first-edition Pooh books were issued in publisher's deluxe calf-gilt bindings instead of the usual cloth bindings with dust jackets. Without original box. This copy contains a tipped-in autograph letter on Ernest Shepard's Long Meadow, Longdown, Guildford stationery, which reads: "Oct 22nd/30. Dear Mr Harris, I am very glad that you are pleased with the drawings—many thanks for your cheque for 15 guineas. Yes, I will gladly do the same in your "Winnie-the-Pooh" if you can send the book to me in about three weeks time. I am going abroad next week in a fortnight and expect to be back about the 15th November. Yours Sincerely, E.H. Shepard." Morocco bookplate.
Interior and letter generally fine, light wear and toning to extremities of binding, gilt bright. A near-fine copy, most desirable with signed autograph letter by Shepard.