[London]: Alexander Moring at the De La More Press, . Octavo, measuring 7.25 x 5.5 inches: , 203, . Original full blue pictorial cloth stamped in black, peach, and white; spine illustrated in like colors and lettered in gilt. Illustrated with pictorial headpieces and six full-page black-and-white plates. Lengthy presentation inscription from the author on front free endpaper, with additional ink dedication on half-title. Spine lightly sunned, light foxing to preliminaries and edges.
First edition, advance copy, of this illustrated collection of original fairy tales by English schoolmaster Francis Duckworth. In stories like “King Sturm,” “Ugolino,” and “The Swan-Song,” the power of love ultimately conquers the dark forces of magic: “Here I live as one of the swans that help to draw the sun’s chariot across the sky from East to West, and here I was doomed to remain and labour till released by the love of a child of Earth.” This advance copy is warmly inscribed: “For Eileen and Terence / from their loving friend the author” with an original poem, entitled “Llanfairfechan 1901,” and a note on the stories’ composition and publication. On the half-title, Duckworth has written: “To Those who Inspired Them / Mariot Eileen Terence / These Stories / Have been Dedicated.” The fanciful line drawings by Dorothy Hilton, inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, incorporate text into their decorative frames. A characteristic example of popular Edwardian children’s literature, in a lovely pictorial binding.