The Water Babies

by Kingsley, Charles

The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a children's novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley. Written in 1862-1863 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863. The book was extremely popular during its day, and was a mainstay of children's literature through the 1920s, but eventually fell out of favor in part due to its prejudices against Irish, Jews, Catholics, blacks, Americans, and the poor. In the style of Victorian-era novels, The Water-Babies is a didactic moral fable about a young chimney sweep, Tom, who falls into a river and becomes a 'water-baby,' guided by moral teachers through lessons and adventures, eventually earning the right to become human again and being united with an upper-class girl Ellie who had also become a 'water-baby.'

First Edition Identification

First edition (London Macmillan and Company 1863) is usually without the L'Envoi leaf as is almost always encountered as the author had it removed from all but the first 200 or so copies. Illustrations in this edition include two full page plates by J. Noel Paton and with a number of small illustrations used throughout as opening initials.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

Hodder and Stoughton's edition of 1916 with twelve gorgeous color plates and green and white text illustrations by Jessie Wilcox Smith is considered one of the best editions. Other notable illustrators are: Linley Sambourne who provided 100 illustrations to the edition of 1885, Warwick Goble who produced thirty-two tipped-in color plates for the 1909 edition, and W. Heath Robinson rendered eight color plates and miscellaneous black and white text illustrations to Constable & Company's edition in 1915.

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The Water-Babies : A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby
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The Water-Babies : A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby

by KINGSLEY, Charles

Condition
Used - Good
Edition
First Edition
Published
1915
Binding
Publisher's Cloth
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1
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London, Greater London, GBR
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$256.32

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London: Constable & Company Limited 1915. Small 4to. x, 320 pp. Variant binding. Green cloth with decorative design & lettering to front board & spine in black. Spine & edge of rear board darkened, not affecting lettering. Slight chipping to head & tail of spine with short tears at joints. Cloth slightly marked. Bubbling to boards. Heavy foxing to prelims… Read more about this item
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$256.32
The Water-Babies: A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby
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The Water-Babies: A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby

by Kingsley, Charles

Condition
Used - Good
Edition
First Edition
Published
1863
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1
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Portland, Oregon, USA
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$5,000.00

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London & Cambridge: Macmillan & Co, 1863. First Edition. Good. First edition, first printing. First issue with "L'Envoy" leaf present. Bound in publisher's original dark blue cloth stamped in gilt, brown coated endsheets. Good. Cloth worn at corners and spine ends, with frayed started at the rear joint. Cloth lightly rubbed, with front cover mottled. Front and rear… Read more about this item
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$5,000.00
The Water Babies

The Water Babies

by Kingsley, Charles

Condition
Used - Very good
Edition
First Thus
Published
1916
Binding
Cloth
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1
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Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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New York: Dodd, Mead, 1916. First Thus. Cloth. Very good. Jessie Willcox Smith. Green cloth with gilt lettering on spine, gilt lettering and past-down illustration on front cover. Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith. Half title page has signature of illustrator below a pasted 2" x 3" picture of her. This book was Smith's favorite of those she illustrated.… Read more about this item
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$805.93
The Water-Babies

The Water-Babies

by Charles Kingsley

Condition
Used - Good
Jacket Condition
No Jacket
Edition
First Edition
Published
1915
Binding
Hard Cover
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1
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Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, USA
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$228.70

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Raphael Tuck, 1915. First Edition. Hard Cover. Good/No Jacket. Mabel Lucie Atwell. Raphael Tuck, 1915. First Edition. Date not stated, no additional printings. Pictorial boards with red cloth spine, black titles. Colored frontispiece and 11 additional full-page color illustrations. Eight pages of advertisements for Raphael House Library follows text. All illustrations are in pristine condition. Cover has moderate… Read more about this item
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$228.70
The Water Babies
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The Water Babies

by Kingsley, Charles

Condition
Used - Good
Jacket Condition
No Dj cover
Edition
Reprinted edition
Published
1939
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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Southampton, Hampshire, GBR
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$51.14

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J.M. Dent & Sons, 1939. Reprinted edition. Hardcover. Good/No Dj cover. GC plus. J.M. Dent and sons,1939. Reprinted edition. Small format pictorial hardback (small marks, nicks and dents on the edges of the cover and spine) in GC plus, no Dj cover. Illustrated with colour plates, b/w drawings. Illustrations by Margaret W. Tarrant. Clean pages with small ink… Read more about this item
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$51.14
THE WATER-BABIES
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THE WATER-BABIES

by Kingsley, Charles

Condition
Used - Good
Edition
1st thus edition.
Published
1909
Binding
Hardback
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Monmouthshire, Aberdeen, GBR
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Published by Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1909. 1st thus edition.. Hardback. Good. Illustrated by Goble, Warwick. Almost very good condition with no wrapper. Green cloth, gilt titles and vignette. 32 beautiful tipped-in colour plates, mounted on brown card with tissue guards. All edges gilt. Goble's most desired work. Spine is browned. Covers are unevenly faded. Bumping and wear… Read more about this item
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The Water Babies (Abridged) With " Come To Life " Panorama
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The Water Babies (Abridged) With " Come To Life " Panorama

by Kingsley Charles

Condition
Used - Good+ with no dust jacket
Edition
1st Thus
Published
1930
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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Carmarthen, GBR
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$83.30

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London. Paris. New York.: Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd.. Good+ with no dust jacket. 1930. 1st Thus. Hardcover. The Water Babies (Abridged) With "Come To Life" Panorama. Illustrated by Mabel Lucie Attwell; Molly Benatar & ? . London. Paris. New York. ; Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd. ; c.1930; 1st Thus Sm. Chunky 4to 8"-10" tall; Hardcover;… Read more about this item
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$83.30
The Water-Babies: A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby

The Water-Babies: A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby

by Kingsley, Charles

Condition
Used - Good with no dust jacket
Edition
First Edition; Early Reprint
Published
1922
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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Topeka, Kansas, USA
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$75.00

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London: J.M. Dent & Co.. Good with no dust jacket. 1922. First Edition; Early Reprint. Hardcover. First printed in 1908. Cloth covers are a little rubbed and show a couple of half inch closed tears at spine ends. Corners are lightly bumped. Inked name and brief presentation note on pictorial front free end page. Occasional light smudge… Read more about this item
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$75.00
The Water-Babies
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The Water-Babies

by KINGSLEY, Charles

Condition
Used - near fine
Published
1916
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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New York, New York, USA
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$850.00

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New York: Dodd, Mead & Co, 1916. hardcover. near fine. Smith, Jessie Willcox.. Color frontispiece, 11 color plates, and many other illustrations throughout by Jessie Willcox Smith. 362pp. Large 4to, handsomely rebound in 1/4 dark green morocco. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., (1916). A near fine copy.<br/> <br/>
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$850.00
The Water-Babies
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The Water-Babies

by Charles Kingsley

Condition
Used - Good
Published
1916
Binding
Cloth
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1
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BATH, Somerset, GBR
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New York: Dodd, Mead, & Company, 1916. Cloth. Good. 10" by 7.5". Jessie Willcox Smith. A colourfully illustrated edition of Charles Kingsley's immensely popular Victorian children's novel, illustrated in colour throughout by Jessie Willcox Smith. The first thus of Jessie Willcox Smith's illustrations.'The Water-Babies' is a children's fairy tale that was extremely popular when it was published. The… Read more about this item
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$346.03
The Water-Babies : A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby
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The Water-Babies : A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby

by Kingsley, Charles

Condition
Used - Very Good
Edition
First Edition
Published
1863
Binding
Full Morocco
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1
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London, Greater London, GBR
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$448.56

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London & Cambridge: Macmillan and Co. 1863. 8vo. First edition, second issue. [vi], 350, [1 pub ads.] pp. Recently bound in full dark blue morocco, with gilt decoration to boards and five raised bands, brown title labels and gilding to spine. All edges gilt. Internally bright with occasional limited foxing. Includes two illustrations by J. Noel Paton. Without the 'L'envoi'… Read more about this item
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$448.56
The Water Babies
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The Water Babies

by Kingsley., Charles

Condition
Used - Good
Jacket Condition
Good
Edition
First Abridged Edition
Published
1964
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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Southampton, Hampshire, GBR
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$67.92

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The Children's Press., 1964. First Abridged Edition. Hardcover. Good/Good. GC plus.The Children's Press,1964.First Abridged Edition.Red hardback(silver lettering to the spine,small stain mark on the edges of the front cover,small nick and crease on the edges of the spine) with Dj(small stain marks on the outer and inner edges of the Dj cover,small tears,creases and nicks on the edges… Read more about this item
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The Water-Babies [Fine Binding]; A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby
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The Water-Babies [Fine Binding]; A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby

by KINGSLEY, CHARLES

Condition
Used - Very good. Spine-faded, with some edge fading and chipping to joints; detached ribbon marker. Binding sturdy and tight, text cle
Edition
First Thus
Published
1922
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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Asheville, North Carolina, USA
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$158.00

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London: Macmillan and Co, 1922. First Thus. Hardcover. Very good. Spine-faded, with some edge fading and chipping to joints; detached ribbon marker. Binding sturdy and tight, text clean and bright.. Warwick Goble. Medium 8vo. 6.25 x 8.5 in. Illustrated with 16 color plates (complete) by Warwick Goble. Bound in three-quarter green levant morocco over green cloth, with matching… Read more about this item
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$158.00
The Water-Babies
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The Water-Babies

by Kingsley, Charles

Condition
Used
Edition
First
Published
1863
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1
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Chelmsford, Essex, GBR
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$1,602.00

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First edition, first issue (Macmillan & Co, 1863) with l'envoi leaf present, of which there were only believed to be around 200 copies. Housed in an attractive morocco drop-back box with raised bands, blue compartments, gilt lettering and marbled boards. Original green cloth. Spine re-backed using most of the original, only lacking the tips and a small square hole just below… Read more about this item
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$1,602.00
THE WATER-BABIES
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THE WATER-BABIES

by Kingsley, Charles

Condition
Used - Good
Edition
1st edition.
Published
1915
Binding
Hardback
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1
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Monmouthshire, Aberdeen, GBR
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$134.57

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Published by Constable & Co. Ltd., 1915. 1st edition.. Hardback. Good. Illustrated by Robinson, W. Heath. Good condition with no wrapper. A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby. Green cloth, gilt titles & vignettes. 8 colour plates, numerous b/w illustrations. 319 pages. Bumping to spine and corners. Spine and cover edges darkened. Gilt on spine is dulled. Large score… Read more about this item
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$134.57
The Water Babies
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The Water Babies

by Charles Kingsley

Condition
Used
Edition
Reprint
Published
1929
Binding
Gray- blue cloth pictorially stamped in gilt and navy
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1
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New York, New York, USA
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$125.00

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KINGSLEY, Charles. The Water Babies. Illustrated in Color by A.E. Jackson. London: Humphrey Milford/Oxford University Press [1929]. 8vo, 252pp. Gray- blue cloth pictorially stamped in gilt and navy; t.e.g. Pictorial endpapers; 16 color plates, pictorial title, and small b&w illustrations at chapter heads and tails. Spine sunned and rubbed at edges, corners a bit rubbed, cover slightly soiled. Some light… Read more about this item
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$125.00
The Water Babies; A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby. With Illustrations by Sir Noel Paton and Percival Skelton
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The Water Babies; A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby. With Illustrations by Sir Noel Paton and Percival Skelton

by Kingsley, Charles

Condition
Used - Near fine
Edition
New Edition
Published
1882
Binding
Full leather
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1
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Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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$475.00

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London: Macmillan, 1882. New Edition. Full leather. Near fine. The New Edition of The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley.. Octavo, [vi], 388pp. Full blue morocco, gilt border to covers, emblem of S. Michael's School to front cover. Five raised bands to spine, decorative gilt, title in gilt on spine. Marbled edges, matching marbled endpapers. Prize binding by Bickers… Read more about this item
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$475.00
The Water-Babies
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The Water-Babies

by Charles Kingsley

Condition
Used - Near Fine
Edition
First edition
Published
1916
Binding
Cloth
Quantity Available
1
Seller
BATH, Somerset, GBR
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$756.14

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New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1916. First edition. Cloth. Near Fine. 10.5" by 8". Jessie Wilcox Smith. The first edition thus of 'The Water-Babies', the first edition to be illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith, replete with beautiful colour plates. In the original very scarce publisher's box. The first thus of Jessie Willcox Smith's illustrations.In the original very… Read more about this item
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$756.14
The Water-Babies
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The Water-Babies

by Charles Kingsley

Condition
Used
Edition
reprint
Published
c1930s
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1
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BACUP, Lancashire, GBR
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$57.67

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The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley (Ward, Lock & Co. Limited, [No Date] circa 1930s), illustrated by Harry G. Theaker. A volume in the 48 colour plate (incl. endpapers) 'Prince Charming' series from Ward, Lock & Co., published from the late 1910s and through the 1920s/1930s. Titles include 'Alice in Wonderland', 'Hans Andersen's Fairy Stories', 'Robinson Crusoe', 'The Water-Babies', and 'Tales… Read more about this item
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$57.67
The Water-Babies
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The Water-Babies

by Charles Kingsley

Condition
Used - Very Good Indeed
Published
1932
Binding
Cloth
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1
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BATH, Somerset, GBR
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$125.60

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London: T. Werner Laurie, 1932. Cloth. Very Good Indeed. 6.5" by 8.5". Arthur Gatlish. A bright copy of this classic children's tale, with vibrant illustrations from Arthur Gatlish. The first edition thus of this children's classic to feature illustrations from Arthur Gatlish. The only children's work he would illustrate. With frontispiece and a further seven unusually brightly coloured… Read more about this item
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$125.60