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The Story of the Three Bears.
Porter and Wright, 60 Pall-Mall 1837 - vi, 29pp [10] leaves of plates. Bound in original decorative paper covered boards and illustrated with 10 wood engraved plates by Robert Hart after designs by "C.J.". The book has had a new spine added as the original was nonexistent. The boards are soiled and rubbed/worn at extremities, the rear cover having some juvenile ink marks. Most of the pages inside have minor foxing and marks as this was a favorite children’s story. The plate facing page 14, a child has drawn in ink and added a sign on top of the stair bannister; The plate facing page 16 has a light ink mark in the image; on page 21 the original printed line of text which was ‘By what may not be named’ has been erased and replaced in ink ‘Somebody must be blamed’; the plate facing page 28 a juvenile hand has neatly drawn in ink she heels to the old womans feet and a line coming from the bears bottom; Someone has written ‘!!!Alas!!!’ on the final page. Not a great copy but a very scarce book of a much loved fairy tale. As Toronto Library has made a PDF of their copy of the book I have been able to collate it and all is complete. Please note the binding appears to have originally been as a hard back, myself and the conservator agreed on this. The only copy on COPAC at Cambridge Library has paper wrappers only. The editions found on the Toronto library web site from the Osbourne collection, one has been rebound later and is incomplete, the other copy they have does not mention if it’s in wrappers or hard bound. The publisher may have sold the book either as a bound hard copy or in original paper wrappers. This is the first collected edition of this early version of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. It original appeared in print in Volume Four of ‘The Doctor’, 1837, by Robert Southey. The first illustrated version of ‘The Three Bears ‘story with text by George Nicol appeared that Christmas. In 1841, Nicol’s version was re-issued by Wright with two additional tales: ‘The Wolf and the Seven Kids’ ( a tale from Brothers Grimm read by Great Bear. Having wished the story to become more widely known, Southey was pleased with the success of Nicol’s version. Surviving copies of any early edition are quite scarce. ‘Any text of the story dated before 1850 is a rare and desirable possession’ (Quayle, 73.) Originally accepted as an invention by Southey, the tale almost certainly has an oral history that predates ‘The Doctors’ 1837 publication. In 1951 a manuscript entitled ‘The Story of the Three Bears’ related appeared. It was dated September 1831, written and illustrated by Eleanor Mure and presented to her nephew Horace Broke as a birthday gift. Although traditional versions make the story’s porridge thief a fox, both Mure’s and Southey’s tales make their thief a heroine, a disagreeable old woman. By 1850, the intruder appears for the first time as a little girl named ‘Silver Hair’; and in 1868, ‘Golden hair’. The first use of the name ‘Goldilocks’, which is now universally attached to the story occurs in ‘Old Nursery Stories and Rhymes’, published 1904. See Muir, 124; Qualye, 73; Carpenter & Prichard, 524. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Roe and Moore]
Last Found On: 2017-11-16           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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