Hard Cover. London: Frederick Warne and Co. Fine.
Early printing. Original gray boards, lettered in white and with color illustration to front board; illustrated endpapers. A near fine copy with a touch of wear to the upper spine, contemporary former owner pencil signature to half-title else a bright and excellent copy. The Tale of Peter Rabbit is Beatrix Potter's first children's book. Potter began illustrating as a hobby, and she drew the now well-known tale about adventurous Peter Rabbit's exploits in Mr. McGregor's garden from letters she wrote to friends, many of whom were children. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published privately by the author in a print run of 250 copies and was rejected by multiple commercial publishers before being accepted by Frederick Warne, who published the book in 1902 after Potter agreed to re-do her black and white illustrations in color. In 1903, Potter published The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tailor of Gloucester, and she continued to publish two or three pictorial children's books per year. Today, Potter's characters are iconic, and her books have been translated into numerous languages. Notably, Potter's success came not only from her artistic abilities but also her prudent business skills; the Beatrix Potter Society notes that Potter was "a woman of unusual entrepreneurial genius" who "registered a Peter Rabbit doll in 1903, recognizing that 'spin-off' merchandise such as painting books, board games, and printed wallpapers would be marketing assets for her work."