New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, (1970). Single volume, measuring 10 x 7 inches: 56. Original pale green cloth spine lettered in gilt, green pictorial boards stamped in gilt, pictorial endpapers, original clipped color pictorial dust jacket. Black and white illustrations throughout text. Inscribed by Violette Verdy and Marcia Brown on verso of front free endpaper. With: August 1970 book launch invitation from McGraw-Hill, and September 1970 New York Times feature on Verdy.
First edition of this illustrated introduction to the 1841 ballet Giselle, adapted by New York City Ballet principal ballerina Violette Verdy from Théophile Gautier’s scenario. The story of a betrayed peasant girl whose love transcends death became one of the defining works of the classical ballet canon: “Joyfully, she takes possession of space once again. How freely she breathes, her chest rid at last of the stone’s dead weight.” A favorite of choreographer George Balanchine, translator Verdy was known for her own performance in the role of Giselle; the illustrations in this edition are by two-time Caldecott winner Marcia Brown, who like Verdy has inscribed this copy. Laid in is the original publisher’s invitation to the book’s launch at Lincoln Center, and a New York Times clipping, “How Verdy Retains Own Style With the City Ballet.” A fine inscribed copy of a charming book.