[a handsome copy] London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1885. Original blue cloth, beveled.
First Edition, first printing (which consisted of 1000 copies). Stevenson began writing these verses as early as 1881: supposedly after perusing through Kate Greenaway's BIRTHDAY BOOK FOR CHILDREN, he observed "These are rather nice rhymes, and I don't think they will be difficult to do," and then proceeded to try his hand at them. It is hard to believe that the author of DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE and THE BODY-SNATCHER also wrote these sprightly juvenile rhymes, voiced as if by a child. The book is dedicated to Alison Cunningham, "Cummy," his childhood nurse-maid.
The spine lettering of this copy is the less-encountered variant (no known precedence): the apostrophe is NOT shaped like the digit "7", and the word "OF" is in a smaller font than the word "A". The top edge of the pages is gilded, with the other edges uncut, which is the usual primary state. Inside, this copy does NOT have the ink-stamp "Printed in Great Britain" at the foot of the title verso; though not mentioned by bibliographers, copies with the ink-stamp were likely sent overseas (probably to a colony).
This is a close-to-fine copy, with just a trace of rubbing at the very extremities of the volume but with scarcely any other wear or soil; the free endpapers are browned as usual, due to the binder's glue used on the inside covers. Beinecke 193; Princeton 20A copy 3; Prideaux pp 35-39. Item #15122