London: Methuen & Co., 1951. Item #04220
The “One Hundredth Edition” of “Wind in the Willows”
[RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator]. GRAHAME, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows. Introduction by A.A. Milne. London: Methuen & Co., .
“One hundredth edition.” Limited to 500 numbered copies (of which this is number 361), printed on handmade paper.
Large quarto (11 3/4 x 9 1/4 inches; 298 x 235 mm.). [2, blank], xii, 178 pp. Twelve mounted color plates (including frontispiece), twelve black and white vignette chapter headings, and three other black and white drawings. Internally fine and fresh.
Publisher's full white calf, smooth spine lettered in gilt. Small repaired split at foot of spine, neat ink inscription dated 1952 on front free end-paper. A very good copy.
“This book was first issued on October 8th, 1908, since when it has been reprinted in a variety of editions, illustrated and unillustrated, 99 times. This one hundredth edition, published in 1951, is printed on handmade paper and is limited to 500 copies” (p. [iv]).
Published originally by The Limited Editions Club in 1940 with sixteen color illustrations only, but not published in England until 1950 by Methuen. This is the first deluxe edition to have the twelve black and white vignette chapter headings, and the three other black and white drawings.
"The book is a gentle delight, presenting illustrations which in no way fight with the more famous imaginative world created by Shepherd, although if Shepherd had not preceded him, then Rackham might have anthropomorphized his creatures even more. Several of the plates are delightful: The 'Golden Day when the three heroes walked by the Caravan, Mole leading a happy horse', (color-plate opposite page 18) and the placid Rat handing a hamper to put into a boat (color-plate opposite page 6), a plate famous among Rackham lovers because it was the boat for which Rackham forgot to draw the oars, an omission which some see as significant in view of the artist's imminent death. Perhaps the most interesting picture is the color-plate opposite page 98, which depicts the egocentric toad levelled to the drab clothes of a no-pocket washer woman, hopping about permissively, totally unequipped for the real contest. In the real world of people, like all egoists, animal or human, he is alien, and it is a typical piece of Rackhamerie that we should see two children laughing at the glum toad, not because he is a toad, but because he is obviously pretending to be something else". (Gettings, Arthur Rackham. pp 168-169).
Riall, p. 200.