“AN ELEPHANT’S FAITHFUL, ONE HUNDRED PER CENT”: FIRST EDITION OF HORTON HATCHES THE EGG, IN RARE ORIGINAL DUST JACKET
SEUSS, Dr. Horton Hatches the Egg. New York: Random House, (1940). Quarto, original gray cloth, original dust jacket.
First printing of this “absolute delight,” Seuss’ story of one noble elephant’s exceptional steadfastness, in the scarce original dust jacket.
After producing several prose books with black-and-white illustrations, Seuss “returned to full color and to rhyming text in Horton Hatches the Egg… Two years earlier, he had told almost the exact same story in the fable ‘Matilda, the Elephant with a Mother Complex.’ Matilda was characterized as a foolish failure for her dogged and well-meaning but ridiculous efforts. But the world had changed in the two years between Matilda and Horton. Germany had invaded Poland… [Seuss] held a growing belief that the United States had to join the war in Europe, and the concept of duty became very important to him” (Cohen, 201). Horton’s refrain epitomizes that concept—“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent”—and his motto “has become a classic line in children’s literature” (Silvey, 591). The first book that Warner Brothers adapted for a cartoon, “Horton Hatches the Egg is an absolute delight” (Cohen, 202). Younger & Hirsch 31. Contemporary owner inscription.
Interior clean. Cloth with only very light toning to spine. Exceptionally scarce extremely good original dust jacket with some expert restoration to extremities only, not affecting any letters.