“MISS PETTIGREW IS A WINNER”: SCARCE FIRST AMERICAN EDITION OF WATSON’S LIVELY NOVEL, BASIS FOR THE 2008 FILM WITH FRANCIS MCDORMAND AND AMY ADAMS
WATSON, Winifred. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1939. Octavo, original gray cloth, original dust jacket. $3000.
First American edition of Watson’s critically praised third novel, rediscovered and adapted to the screen in the 2008 film starring Francis McDormand and Amy Adams, in scarce dust jacket.
British writer Winifred Watson rose to “literary prominence in 1938 with her novel Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and again over 60 years later, when the book was rediscovered… Miss Guinevere Pettigrew, the central character of Miss Pettigrew, is a middle-aged governess who is mistakenly sent by her agency to work for a dissolute actress and nightclub singer. Over the next 24 hours, Miss Pettigrew helps the actress out of a series of sticky situations. There are three lovers, cocaine and cocktails for breakfast… Miss Pettigrew, Watson’s third novel, was completed in 1935. Watson’s publishers at first rejected it. ‘They were horrified,’ she recalled years later… I can remember to this day saying: ‘You’re wrong—Miss Pettigrew is a winner… It was an immediate success.” The outbreak of WWII disrupted plans for a “proposed Hollywood film version. The film had been cast—Billie Burke, who played Glinda, the Good Witch of the North in The Wizard of Oz, was to have been Miss Pettigrew” (The Independent). Watson’s Miss Pettigrew finally reached the screen in the 2008 film starring Francis McDormand and Amy Adams, winning critical praise as a “delightfully frothy drawing-room comedy” (Salon). Preceded by the virtually unobtainable 1938 English edition. Illustrations by Mary Thomson.
Book fine; slight edge-wear, small closed edge tears to scarce dust jacket. A lovely near-fine copy.