Rackham, Arthur. Hard Cover. London: William Heinemann, 1912. Near Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
Adapted from the German by W. L. Courtney. First edition, new printing. Publisher's blue cloth, lettered and decorated in gilt, top edge stained black, illustrated endpapers; in the original brown dust jacket lettered and decorated in black. A near fine copy with some toning to extremities and wear to top edge, foxing to endpapers; in a near fine dust jacket with a touch of toning to top edge and light wear to extremities, a closed tear and some creasing to bottom edge of rear panel. Overall, a lovely copy. First published as a novella in 1811, Undine is a German fairy tale that tells of the water spirit Undine who, in her quest to acquire a soul, marries the knight Huldebrand. Notably, the story has been adapted into other literary works, as well as a number of operas, ballets, and musical compositions. Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) was a prolific British artist and illustrator, best known for his deluxe editions of popular children's books. Artistically inclined since childhood, Rackham started illustrating for newspapers, but it was not until he began drawing for children's literature that he received critical acclaim. In response to his burgeoning fame, Rackham's publisher, William Heinemann, began producing deluxe and trade editions of his illustrated works, the first being Rip Van Winkle in 1905. Deluxe editions were produced in a limited edition of numbered copies (ranging in quantity from 250 - 2,020), bound in vellum bindings, printed on handmade paper, and signed by the illustrator. The trade editions were published concurrently in simple bindings, on thinner paper, and with fewer color plates. This publication strategy benefited both publisher and artist; Rackham produced about one book per year and would have an annual gallery exhibition showing his original artwork for his latest book.