“CECILY PARSLEY LIVED IN A PEN, AND BREWED GOOD ALE FOR GENTLEMEN…”
POTTER, Beatrix. Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes. London and New York: Frederick Warne, circa 1922. 16mo, original red paper boards, mounted cover illustration, pictorial endpapers, original printed glassine dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $4800.
First edition of Potter’s second and last book of rhymes, and the last of her books to be published in the familiar "Peter Rabbit" format, in the very rare dust jacket.
In 1922, in a long letter, Beatrix Potter wrote, "I found some time, somehow, to collect some old drawing and piece them together with some additions for a little book of nursery rhymes…." The book would become this companion volume to Appley Dapply, Potter's much-loved first book of nursery rhymes. "Seven of the eight rhymes were the 'hoary favorites' Beatrix had always wanted to publish. She worked on the drawings whenever time could be stolen from other distractions: a plague of visitors, poultry problems and a bad drought… The book was finished just in time for Christmas 1922, in spite of the last-minute delay to restore an omitted line about the carving knife in the 'Three Blind Mice' rhyme ('Three Blind Mice' had already been cut from the Warne Peter Rabbit)" (Taylor et al., 158). Warne, however, had insisted on numerous prepublication illustration changes, among them that the rabbit on the cover push a wheelbarrow rather than carry a tray, that Cecily's apples become into cowslips and that the barrels of cider be turned into cowslip wine. After completing Cecily Parsley, only Potter's Philadelphia publisher could convince her to publish again. Quinby 26. Linder, 430.
Book with slight foxing to interior and mild toning to spine. Glassine dust jacket split at rear joint with small spot of soiling to rear panel and mild wear and toning to extremities. A near-fine copy in very rare original dust jacket.