“IT IS ONLY WITH THE HEART THAT ONE CAN SEE RIGHTLY; WHAT IS ESSENTIAL IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYE”: FIRST EDITION OF SAINT-EXUPÉRY’S THE LITTLE PRINCE
SAINT-EXUPERY, Antoine. The Little Prince. Translated from the French by Katherine Woods. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, (1943). Small quarto, original salmon cloth, original dust jacket.
First trade edition of Saint-Exupéry’s beloved fable of friendship and love, with numerous illustrations by the author, many in color.
“Saint-Exupéry spent the early years of World War II in New York City, where he wrote and illustrated an allegorical children’s story about a downed pilot who meets an unusual boy in the Sahara Desert. The Little Prince has journeyed from his tiny home planet, met a number of unpleasant adults on neighboring asteroids and arrived on Earth, where he learns lessons about love, responsibility, friendship and beauty. The whimsical, sad fairy tale satirizes adult behavior and celebrates the purity and innocence of children. The fanciful writing and charming watercolor illustrations of the hardcover edition appeal to young readers… [and yet] the volume is most popular with adults who appreciate the Little Prince’s aphorisms and the spiritual awakening of the narrator. After the book’s publication. Saint-Exupéry joined the war effort as a pilot and was soon listed ‘missing in action… The Little Prince continues to be enjoyed by readers of all ages” (Silvey, 570). Published simultaneously with a signed, limited edition of 525 copies. This edition precedes the French-language edition, also published by Reynal & Hitchcock later the same year. In salmon cloth, with colophon on last page and Fourth Avenue address on flap of dust jacket. Pearlman, 26-27. See Pierpont Morgan, Children’s Literature 222.
Book fine, price-clipped dust jacket extremely good with a few small, faint stains, minor rubbing to extremities, and paper repair to rear panel. A handsome, near-fine copy.