“SOMEONE HAS BEEN AT MY PORRIDGE!”: THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF “THE THREE BEARS”
(SOUTHEY, Robert). The Doctor, &c. London: Longman et al., 1835-47. Seven volumes. Octavo, later three-quarter green morocco, marbled boards, endpapers and top edges. $1600.
Second edition of Southey’s The Doctor, best known for containing the first appearance in print of “The Three Bears.” “Any text of the story published before 1850 is a rare and desirable possession” (Quayle, 73).
The Doctor was the last major work by this poet laureate. “(Southey's) prose style has long been regarded as masterly in its ease and clarity. These qualities are best seen in… the anonymously published seven-volume The Doctor (1834-47), a fantastic, rambling miscellany packed with comments, quotations, and anecdotes” (Kuiper, 1055). “The Three Bears” appears in Vol. IV on page. 318; this version with a “Little Old Woman” instead of Goldilocks.
Interiors generally clean with only occasional minor soiling. A lovely copy of this rare set, handsomely bound.