EARLY PRINTING OF WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, FROM THE COLLECTION OF SENDAK'S CLOSE FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR
SENDAK, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. New York: Harper & Row, circa 1963. Oblong quarto, original half gray cloth, pictorial boards, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. $2800.
First edition, second issue, of Sendak’s cherished classic, from the collection of Sendak's close friend and neighbor.
First published in 1963, "Sendak's exploration of the realms of the unconscious in Where the Wild Things Are… lifts his work beyond the confines of the children's picture book, and places it among the major art of the 20th century" (Carpenter & Prichard, 476-77). Dust jacket with Caldecott sticker to front panel and price of $3.50 (first editions are priced at $3.50). Hanrahan A58. The former owner of this book was Maurice Sendak's neighbor, Andrew, from Ridgefield, Connecticut. Sendak bought a home and studio in Ridgefield in 1972 with his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, and lived there until his death. Andrew first encountered Sendak in 1975 during one of his daily dog walks. (Sendak owned many dogs throughout his life, and they often starred in his books.) Andrew was immediately taken with Sendak, who reminded him of his recently deceased father. One day, Andrew called Sendak at home and asked if he could join him on his walks. Andrew and Sendak thus embarked on a 37-year friendship that also included the Andrew's mother, Betty, as well as Andrew's brother. Sendak went on long walks and hikes with Andrew and his family regularly, discussing general life events, opera, and books. He also invited them into his studio to show off works in progress. Andrew's mother, Betty, was an avid reader and collector and she and Sendak would talk late into the night about books. Sendak offered Betty advice about how to find and authenticate rare children's books, which she used to build her collection. Additionally, he frequently bartered for autographs (i.e. a cake for an inscribed drawing). The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, limited edition books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections. Owner gift inscription dated 1965.
Book near-fine, with only minor toning to binding. Corner-clipped dust jacket extremely good, with only slightest soiling, mild toning, and light wear to extremities. A desirable copy.