Christmas: A Story, Signed by Eleanor Roosevelt, First Edition, 1940

Roosevelt, Eleanor. Christmas: A Story. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1940. First Edition. Signed by Roosevelt. Twelvemo, in its colorful original dust jacket. Presented with a custom archival clamshell. 

This is a beautiful first edition printing of Christmas: A Story by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. This charming little book is richly illustrated by Fritz Kredel and is presented in its original colorful dust jacket. The book was published in 1940 by Alfred A. Knopf of New York. It is signed by Eleanor Roosevelt on the front free page in ink. 

Starting in 1932, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote many books for children, most of which were civic-minded nonfiction titles, such as When You Grow Up to Vote (1932), This Is America (1942), Partners: The United Nations and Youth (1950), United Nations: What You Should Know About It (1955), and others. She served on the editorial board of the Junior Literary Guild's book club, selecting monthly titles and reviewing manuscripts. And in two instances, she wrote children's fiction, A Trip to Washington With Bobby and Betty (1935) and Christmas (1940).

Christmas is an earnest and heartfelt story that first appeared in the December 28, 1940 issue of Liberty Magazine.  It tells the tale of a young girl’s Christmas Eve in a war-torn land. Almost two years into the Second World War, witnessing the rising tide of Nazism and totalitarianism, Eleanor Roosevelt, as First Lady and a humanitarian, felt it was important for all Americans, even children, to be reminded of the evils threatening peaceful cohabitation. As she put it in the preface of this first edition of Christmas: "The times are so serious that even children should be made to understand that there are vital differences in people’s beliefs which lead to differences in behavior… This little story, I hope, will appeal enough to children so they will read it and as they grow older, they may understand that the love, and peace and gentleness typified by the Christ Child, leads us to a way of life for which we must all strive." 


Very good condition. Hardcover boards and original illustrated dust jacket are in very good condition. Illustrated endpapers, with several full page illustrations throughout. Stated “first edition” on copyright page. The book’s binding is tight with no loose pages, healthy interior pages. Eleanor Roosevelt's hand signature in ink on the half title page. 

Presented in a new archival clamshell case, in quarter leather and cloth, with raised bands, gilt titles, and gilt stamps to the spine. Dimensions with clamshell: 6 3/4” H x 5 3/8” W x 1 ½”D.

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