“MY OWN FAVORITE AMONGST MY LITTLE BOOKS”: THE TAILOR OF GLOUCESTER, ONE OF ONLY 500 PRIVATELY PRINTED COPIES OF THE FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED BY POTTER AT CHRISTMAS IN THE MONTH OF PUBLICATION
POTTER, Beatrix. The Tailor of Gloucester. [London: Privately printed for the author], December, 1902. 12mo, original pictorial pink paper boards. Housed in a custom chemise and slipcase. $25,000.
True first edition, one of only 500 privately printed copies, of Potter’s second book, which she called “my own favorite amongst my little books,” with frontispiece and 15 illustrations in color, three of which do not appear in the first trade edition of October, 1903. Inscribed, “To Isabel Roget with love from Beatrix Potter, Christmas 1902.”
Inspired by a real-life incident involving a tailor's efforts to finish a waistcoat for the new mayor of Gloucester, this book "was Potter's own favorite of all her stories, and one can see why, for in it she indulges her own fascination with the era of her grandparents and great-grandparents… Fairy tale, nursery rhyme and Arcadian fantasy all come together for a moment in perfect balance. No wonder Beatrix Potter was proud of the book" (Carpenter, 148). "Evidently with some regret, Beatrix Potter [deleted from the first trade edition] eight or nine pages of text [which appear in this edition] where she had described in detail how Simpkin wandered through the streets of Gloucester on the night of Christmas Eve, when all the animals were talking and the carol singers were singing. This is the part of the story which contained the majority of her rhymes and verses" (Linder 117). Quinby 3. Linder, 420.
Interior fine. Light soiling to boards, with an unobtrusive half-inch closed tear to spine head. An about-fine copy, most scarce, rare inscribed.