Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2011 Issue

New Acquisitions at Peter Harrington


Free trader Winston Churchill.

Peter Rabbit first appeared on this earth in a litter born is 1893. Beatrix Potter created the original story and illustrations for the ill five-year-old child Noel Moore. A few years later, Ms. Potter started to think the story might make a good children's book, and contacted Moore to see if he still had her original and could she borrow it. She then put a manuscript of the story together and sent it out to publishers. They were not interested, so Beatrix Potter had it published herself. She was right; they were wrong. It turned out that the only people who didn't like Peter Rabbit were Mr. McGregor and the publishers. Item 127 is the second printing of the privately published first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It was published in February 1902, and later that year Potter would find a publisher to take the book on, and it has been regularly reprinted ever since. £17,500 (US $27,462).

Winston Churchill was a prodigious writer, along with perhaps being the most important national leader of his century. He wrote volume upon volume of history, both before, after, and during his political years. However, item 28 is an uncharacteristically short, as well as obscure piece he wrote. The title is Why I am a Free Trader, and the pamphlet was part of a series entitled Coming Men on Coming Questions, edited by W.T. Stead. It was published in 1905, the year after Churchill crossed the aisle to join the Liberal Party. Churchill opposed the tariffs favored by the Conservatives, and the then young MP herein explains his position as a free trader. Editor Stead was impressed with Churchill and described him as "Coming Man, No. 1," a prediction that would be borne out by time. £5,750 (US $9,022).

Peter Harrington may be reached at +44 (0)20 7591 0220 or mail@peterharrington.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Focus On Women:<br>At Auction June 1, 2023</b>
    <b>Swann June 1:</b> Sojourner Truth, <i>Narrative of Sojourner Truth, a Northern Slave,</i> first edition, Boston, 1850. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann June 1:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Pride and Prejudice,</i> London, 1817. $6,000 to $8,000.
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    <b>Swann June 1:</b> Charlotte Perkins Gilman, <i>The Forerunner,</i> Volumes I-VII; Family Association Set; Four Volumes Signed or Inscribed by the Author, New York, 1909-16. $3,000 to $5,000.
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