"FOR A CHANGE, I AM GOING TO MAKE A STORY ABOUT TWO DISAGREEABLE PEOPLE…"
POTTER, Beatrix. The Tale of Mr. Tod. London and New York: Frederick Warne, 1912. 16mo, original gray boards, mounted cover illustration, pictorial endpapers. $1600.
First edition of one of the more uncommon Potter titles, with frontispiece and 14 illustrations in color and 42 in-text line drawings.
This tale, longer than her previous efforts and illustrated with more in-text, black-and-white line-drawings, inaugurated Potter's "new series" of Peter Rabbit books, sporting a format "adopted because Potter had no longer the inclination to produce the number of colored pictures used in her other books; and [because] she had told Warnes that she was finding it 'so difficult to continue to make "fresh" short stories" (Linder, 211). Nevertheless, this darker and more sophisticated story—in which Potter, for the first time, crafts a tale featuring villains as protagonists—reveals the beloved author-illustrator "at the height of her powers" (Carpenter & Prichard, 424). "The end of Mr. Tod is left a question-mark, and children complained that there was no sequel—but the characters lived on in Beatrix's mind, and she supplied news of their doings in letters… In reply to one child Beatrix wrote, 'I have inquired about Mr. Tod & Tommy Brock, and I am sorry to tell you they are still quarrelling" (Taylor et al., 148). Without scarce original dust jacket. Quinby 21. Linder, 429.
Only a few minor finger smudges to interior, faint spot of soiling to rear board, slight rubbing and toning mainly to extremities. A near-fine copy. Scarce.