MILNE, Alan Alexander and Ernest Howard SHEPARD (illustrator). The House at Pooh Corner. London: Jarrold and Sons Ltd for Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1928.

Octavo (188 x 121mm), pp. xi, [1 (blank)], 178, [2 (illustration, imprint)]. Frontispiece after Shepard, illustrations in the text after Shepard, some full- or double-page. (A few light marks, lower corners of first quire torn away, short marginal tear in π8.) Original salmon-pink cloth gilt, upper board with border of single gilt rule and central design after Shepard, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, top edges gilt, decorated endpapers with design after Shepard, dustwrapper with design after Shepard. (Partial offsetting on endpapers, spine and outer areas of boards slightly faded, extremities lightly rubbed and bumped, dustwrapper lightly marked, and a little creased and chipped at the edges affecting the imprint at the foot of the spine.) A very good copy retaining the dustwrapper. ProvenanceStephen John Keynes OBE, FLS (1927-2017). 

First edition. The House at Pooh Corner, ‘the last of the four great children’s books […,] is probably now the most loved and popular of all. It introduces Tigger and the game of Poohsticks, and the underlying theme – of a child growing up and away from his toys, putting away childish things – gives it a particular resonance’ (A. Thwaite, The Brilliant Career of Winnie-the-Pooh (London, 1994), p. 109). The accidental dropping of a fir-cone into the river ‘was the beginning of the game called Poohsticks, which Pooh invented, and which he and his friends used to play on the edge of the Forest. But they played with sticks instead of fir-cones, because they were easier to mark’ (p. 94). 

Reviewing The House at Pooh Corner on publication, the Times Literary Supplement remarked that, here, ‘the bear Pooh closes those few episodes in his life which have been disclosed by Mr. Milne, for this is the last, he declares, of the Winnie-the-Pooh books. It is impossible not to recognize the wisdom of Mr. Milne’s self-denying ordinance and equally impossible not to regret it. The series has won and deserved a unique place in nursery literature, and Mr. Milne is acting in Pooh’s interests in safeguarding his reputation’ (issue 1402 (13 December 1928), p. 985).

The first edition, trade issue of The House at Pooh Corner comprised 75,024 copies (there were also simultaneous issues of 28 copies on Japanese vellum and 373 large-paper copies), and by July 1968 Methuen had sold 764,000 hardback copies and 500,000 copies in wrappers. This copy is from the library of the noted bibliophile Stephen Keynes, a great-grandson of Charles Darwin, the founder and chairman of the Charles Darwin Trust, and a member of the Roxburghe Club.  


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