Rackham, Arthur. Hard Cover. London: William Heinemann, 1905. First Edition. Near Fine.
Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. First edition, second impression. Signed by Rackham with a hand-drawn illustration in ink to half-title, dated "11.1.'10". Finely bound in quarter maroon morocco and white silk, five raised bands to spine with black contrasting spine label lettered in gilt, green endpapers, fifty color plates tipped in to thick green paper with printed tissue guards. A near fine copy, a few tiny stains to the remarkably bright silk boards and with some scattered foxing to the tissue guards and half-title, else very clean and bright. Overall, a beautiful copy in an unusual fine binding. Originally published in 1819, Rip Van Winkle is a short story about a man living in the Catskill Mountain range in the years before the onset of the American Revolution. While walking his dog in the woods one day, Van Winkle meets some ghosts of the original Dutch settlers of New York and, after drinking some of their spirits, he falls into an enchanted sleep. He wakes up an elderly man in a changed society; during his sleep, the American colonies won their independence from England and his children matured into adulthood. After absorbing the shock of these changes, Van Winkle resumes his life as a happy wanderer.