London: Frederick Warne and Co., n.d. [1917]. Original green-grey boards lettered in red, with front cover pictorial onlay.

First Edition (first or second printing, indistinguishable from each other, which came out in October and November 1917). The third printing did not come out until 1919-1920; it is distinguishable from the earlier two, because for the third printing "Ltd." was added to the publisher's name on the front cover and title page.

Most of these rhymes are Beatrix Potter's own, but also included is "You know the old woman who lived in a shoe?". She first did illustrations for that rhyme as early as 1893, and she and Warne planned a volume of illustrated verse soon after PETER RABBIT made such a hit in 1901-1902. However it kept getting set aside for other volumes, and then Norman Warne died in 1905, and the project was dropped for a dozen years -- when in 1917 Fruing Warne asked her for another story and she did not have one. (Five years later there would be another volume of rhymes, CECILY PARSLEY'S NURSERY RHYMES.)

This copy has the binding's lettering in red (others have it in dark green -- no precedence). Condition is near-fine (just a hint of wear at some corners). Covering the front paste-down illustration is the large bookplate of Ula Pegatha Dashwood Howard (who was baptized in Hampton Hill in August 1909); the front paste-down illustration is different in the third printing, but we know that this unseen illustration is in the earlier state because of the lack of "Ltd." elsewhere. Linder pp 225-229 & p. 430; Quinby 23. Item #13967

Price: $450.00

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