London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1912. Item #03546
The 1912 Rackham Peter Pan
In the Original Publisher's Pictorial Box
[RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator]. BARRIE, J.M. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. From The Little White Bird by J.M. Barrie. A New Edition. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. London: n.d. .
First trade edition, first issue, of the 1912 new edition (second Rackham edition) with a new color frontispiece and an additional seven full-page black and white plates.
Large quarto (10 13/16 x 8 3/8 in; 275 x 213 mm.). [x], 122,  pp. Fifty mounted color plates with lettered tissue guards, seven full-page black and white plates and twelve black and white drawings in the text.
Publisher's original smooth green cloth pictorially stamped in gilt on front cover and spine, pictorial endpapers, top edge gilt. Minimal fading to spine, otherwise a very fine copy housed in the original pictorial publisher's cardboard box with a copy of the color plate which faces p. 88 "An afternoon when the Gardens were white with snow…" pasted onto the box top.
Rackham first illustrated Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens in 1906 with just fifty mounted color plates.
J.M. Barrie’s novel The Little White Bird (1902) “contains the first sketches for Peter Pan. The narrator is ‘a gentle, whimsical, lonely old bachelor’, an author by profession, whose ambition is to have a son. He meets a penniless young couple whose own son David becomes a substitute in his affections. He explains to David that ‘all children in our part of London were once birds in the Kensington Gardens; and that the reason there are bars on nursery windows and a tall fender by the fire is because very little people sometimes forget that they no longer have wings, and try to fly away through the window or up the chimney.’ The central chapters of the book tell the story of one such child, Peter Pan, who ‘escaped from being a human when he was seven days old…and flew back to the Kensington Gardens’…The Peter Pan chapters of The Little White Bird were re-issued in 1906 as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, with colour plates by Arthur Rackham; this was the book which first made Rackham’s work famous. It should not be confused with Peter and Wendy (1911), Barrie’s novelization of the play Peter Pan” (The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature).
Latimore and Haskell, p. 40. Riall, p. 114.