"AND PLEASE DON'T SAY IF I SHOULD SING FLAT,/ WAS THAT A BICYCLE, OR NEXT DOOR'S CAT?": FIRST EDITION OF SONGS FROM NOW WE ARE SIX, WITH A WONDERFUL, LENGTHY INSCRIPTION BY MILNE
MILNE, A.A. (words). FRASER-SIMSON, H. (music). SHEPARD, E.H. (illustrations). Songs from "Now We Are Six." London: Methuen and Ascherberg, Hopwood & Crew, (1927). Folio, original half mustard cloth, brown paper boards, mounted printed pictorial label, original dust jacket. Housed in a half morocco clamshell box. $18,500.
First trade edition of this collection of songs based on Milne's beloved poetry for children, with music by H. Fraser-Simson and illustrations by E.H. Shepard. An exceptional presentation copy with a long personal and playful inscription by Milne: "For Peter with care from A.A. Milne Christmas, 1927./ I'm singing./ Stand back all of you, and please hold tight,/ I'm going through these if I take all night./ And please don't say if I should sing flat,/ 'Was that a bicycle, or next door's cat?/ 'No, I think it's Peter singing./ 'Yes, it must be Peter singing./ 'That's what he's doing./ 'Singing."
In 1925, Harold Fraser-Simson set 14 poems from Milne's When We Were Very Young to a piano score. The project proved so successful, Fraser-Simson continued composing songs based on Milne's lyrics, ultimately writing 67 of them. First published in London in 1928, this volume of songs, with Ernest Shepard's charming illustrations, makes Milne's incomparable verses—among them "Sneezles," "Furry Bear," "The Emperor's Rhyme" and "Cradle Song"—still more irresistible. Also issued in a signed limited edition of 100 copies. Cutler & Stiles, 116.
Book about-fine with lightest foxing to half title only. Minor edge-wear to corners and spine of dust jacket, extremely good. A wonderful inscribed copy.