Rackham, Arthur. Soft Cover. London: George Harrap & Co, 1932. First Edition. Near Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
First trade edition. Illustrated with three color plates and a frontispiece by Arthur Rackham. Publisher's stiff light tan paper wrappers with roughly trimmed edges, front wrapper illustrated in green, orange, and maroon, endpapers illustrated in green and white, fore edge untrimmed; in the original matching dust jacket. About near fine with wear to spine head, a touch of rubbing to rear board and some scattered foxing to text block, light offsetting to pages opposite the color plates; in a very good dust jacket with wear to extremities and a bit of loss to the spine head extending out a few inches to the top edge of the front and rear panels, some soiling and small stains, upper corner of front flap torn but with price intact at the bottom corner of the flap. Overall, a lovely copy. First published in 1851, The King of the Golden River is a Victorian fable that tells of two evil brothers whose farm is destroyed by the personification of the wind, ultimately teaching them a lesson about greed and kindness. The first edition was illustrated by Richard Doyle. 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 out 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. The recipient of multiple awards for illustrations, Rackham was a diverse artist with a talent for both the fantastical and the intricacies of human nature, as demonstrated in these illustrations for The King of the Golden River.