One of the Rarest of all the Books Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
[RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator]. Snickerty Nick. By Julia Ellsworth Ford. Rhymes by Witter Bynner. New York: Moffat, Yard & Co., 1919.
First edition. Quarto. Three full-page color plates and ten full-page black and white drawings. Original light blue cloth with pictorial stamping on the front cover in black, spine lettered in black. Original pictorial dustwrapper reproducing the color-plate opposite page 30 (Dance of Winter and Gnomes). Dust jacket with a few small closed tears otherwise a fine copy.
"The idea of the Selfish Giant in this play has been taken from the story of Oscar Wilde's Selfish Giant. Spring would not come to his garden because he would not let the children play in it. It was always winter there. One morning he woke up hearing the music of a linnet singing in his garden. He jumped out of bed and saw a most wonderful sight, "flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing," and in every tree was a little child; but one little boy was too tiny to climb the tree and the Giant's heart melted and he helped the little child into the tree. The little child kissed him and forever after the children played in the Giant's garden, because his heart had softened through love of the little child. The children never saw the child again. But one day he came to the Giant, who saw on the palms of the child's hands "the prince of two nails and the prince of two nails were on the little feet". The little child had come to take the Giant to play in his garden, "which is Paradise." My indebtedness to this story is the character of the Selfish Giant. The little play of Snickerty Nick is not a dramatization of The Selfish Giant. The character of Snickerty Nick is an original character and the play centers around him. The little boy is only a loving and beloved child, and Spring and Winter are personified by faeries and gnomes. To Arthur Rackham I tender my most sincere thanks whose magic touch, as in Peter Pan, Grimm's Faery Tales and Undine, making real all faeries and gnomes, endears all child life to grown-ups as well as to children." (Forward by Julia Ellsworth Ford).
Riall, p. 136.
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