Rackham, Arthur. Hard Cover. London: William Heinemann, & New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1907. First Edition. Very Good.
First trade edition. Original green gilt pictorial cloth with Gryphon and Mock-Turtle to front board. Signed by Rackham with an original pen and ink drawing of a winged Gryphon and dated 23.3.08 on the half-title page. A very good copy with some rubbing and light wear to the extremities. The deluxe limited issue of Rackham's "Alice" was not signed by Rackham because he was traveling at the time of the book's publication. Housed in a gilt-decorated custom brown half-morocco fleece-lined folding box. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wrote the nonsensical "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll for one of his favorite child friends, Alice Liddell, who was also a frequent subject of Dodgson's portrait photography. 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 his famous illustrations for Peter Pan.