“THE WHOLE CONTOUR OF THE CHILD’S HIDDEN WORLD”: FIRST EDITION OF STEVENSON’S A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES
STEVENSON, Robert Louis. A Child’s Garden of Verses. London: Longmans, Green, 1885. 12mo, original blue cloth gilt over beveled boards, top edge gilt, uncut. $4200.
First edition of this delightful children’s book, containing 64 classic poems.
“The power of this collection of simple verses lies in the fact that it… shows that life which a child lives within himself, and takes so completely for granted that he seldom speaks of it, usually because he cannot… Stevenson has here recaptured not only a part, but the whole of that hidden life, and has set those recollections forth in just the terms that children would use, could they put them into words at all…. they were the first sizable group of poems to… capture a child’s quality of imagination, sense of wonder, and intense enjoyment of experience” (Meigs, 293-4, 408). Variant issue, with apostrophe after “d” on spine. Prideaux 14. Hayward 297. Grolier Club Stevenson 55. See Princeton University, Gerstley Collection 20. Gift inscription in the year of publication, with later pencil notation of provenance, to front free endpaper.
Interior crisp and generally quite clean. Small splits between a few gatherings at inner margins, binding still strong. Light edge-wear to spine ends. Gilt publisher’s device on front board bright. An attractive copy in very good condition.