“IN THE BEGINNING… HE HAD ONLY ONE”: FIRST EDITION OF THE 500 HATS OF BARTHOLOMEW CUBBINS
SEUSS, Dr. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. New York: Vanguard, (1938). Thin quarto, original half red cloth, pictorial boards and endpapers, original dust jacket; housed in a custom slipcase. $7800.
First edition of Dr. Seuss’ second book, a comical and insightful fantasy with numerous black, white and red illustrations by the author.
By the time Geisel wrote this book, he "already had a substantial hat collection of his own. His sister, Marnie, reported, 'Ted has another peculiar hobby. That of collecting hats of every description. Why, he must have several hundred and he is using them as the foundation of his next book… I have seen him put on an impromptu show for guests, using the hats as costumes…' The 500 Hats touched a sore spot for children—trying to do the right thing and arousing an adult's anger through no fault of their own… [It is a book for children] created by someone who had not lost his memory of the fantasies and injustices of childhood. [Its] magic lies in Ted's ability to honestly address the injustices while ameliorating them with the sense of wonder established by the fantasies" (Cohen, 193-94). First issue, with larger hats on the pastedowns. Younger & Hirsch 22. Gift inscription dated 1938. Evidence of bookplate removal.
Extremely good book with lightly faded spine, inoffensive ink marks to front board, light wear to extremities. Price-clipped dust jacket far better than usual, near-fine and with only very light edge-wear. Scarce in this condition.