London: George Harrap, 1932. First Thus. Limited to 570 copies signed by the illustrator, of which this is 522. Housed in the original slipcase with paper label to spine, and retaining the scarce glassine jacket, which is Near Fine on account of some chipping to bottom edges and offsetting to spine. Book in original vellum with gilt to exterior and pictorial endpapers; overall Fine inside and out. A pleasing copy.
A delightful fairy tale told with all Ruskin's charm of style, his appreciation for mountain scenery, and with his usual insistence on drawing a moral. Yet the backstory to this particular tale has a special spark all its own, for it emerged from a challenge issued to Ruskin by the 12 year old daughter of friends, who "bade him write for her a fairy tale. He accepted, and after but two sittings presented her with this charming story. The incident also awakened in him a greater interest than at first appeared, for a few years later, that girl Euphemia "Effie" Grey became his wife" (Coe). Here, the story is given further dimension with Rackham's magical illustrations. (Item #4139)