Leicester and London: Raithby, Lawrence & Co. Ltd., . First Thus. First edition with illustrations by Harry Rowntree and René Bull. Thin large quarto (12 1/8 x 9 5/8 inches; 308 x 243 mm.). Original gray linen over boards, front cover lettered in orange and brown. A Fine copy. Original textured tan paper dust- jacket, front panel lettered in black and with an illustration from the book Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer
Fox (facing page 20) pasted-on. Jacket price-clipped, otherwise near fine. Collating 110, , [1 blank] with twelve magnificent full color plates by Harry Rowntree and eighty-four delightful pen-and-ink drawings in the text by René Bull.
First published in 1881, Uncle Remus was a landmark collection of African American fables and oral tradition that was adapted and edited by Joel Chandler Harris. The work includes 185 tales, which are woven together through the character of Uncle Remus, an older formerly enslaved man who tells the stories to a group of children. The stories were actually written in eye dialect and many of them center around the character of Br’er (Brother) Rabbit, a kind of clever trickster. Read widely, the book was extremely popular as many people had not been exposed to the tales, lifestyles, and ways of speaking that the book depicted. Despite its acclaim, the book has become controversial, particularly for its portrayal of Uncle Remus. Illustrator Harry Rountree (1878-1950) was a prolific illustrator working in England around the turn of the twentieth century. He came to London in 1901 from New Zealand, when he was 23 years old. Determined to make his mark on the then- flourishing magazine and book market, he struggled, studied and sold the occasional drawing. However, when the editor of Little Folks magazine gave him a commission to illustrate a story with an animal, he found his feet and suddenly he became quite successful. His collaborator René Bull (1872-1942) was born in Dublin to a French mother and an English father and contributed sketches and political cartoons to various publications. (Item #3665)