Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, Illustrated by Garth Williams, First Edition, 1952

White, Elwyn Brooks. Charlotte’s Web. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1952.  First edition. Illustrated by Garth Williams. Rebound in 1/4 blue leather and tan cloth with a color illustration inlaid on the front, gilt tooling, titles, and raised bands to the spine. Original end papers. Presented with a new archival tan cloth slipcase with an inlay of the original front panel.

Presented is a first edition of the beloved children’s book Charlotte’s Web by Elwyn Brooks White and illustrated by Garth Williams. The book was published in New York by Harper & Brothers in 1952. This is a first edition, first printing with the code “I-B” on the copyright page. The book has been beautifully rebound in quarter Moroccan leather and tan cloth binding, with a fanciful illustration on the front, gilt titles, tooling, and raised bands to the spine, and a new tan cloth slipcase with an inlay of the original front panel. 

The most celebrated of White’s three children’s books, Charlotte’s Web is rightly regarded as a modern classic" (Connolly, 322-23). The novel tells the story of a livestock pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. This is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that continues to be enjoyed by generations. 

White finished the first draft of Charlotte’s Web in 1951 and then let it sit for a year. He said in a letter to his patient editor: "I've recently finished another children's book, but have put it away to ripen (let the body heat out of it). It doesn't satisfy me the way it is and I think eventually I shall rewrite it pretty much." When Charlotte's Web finally came out in October 1952, the reviews were admiring and laudatory. Since its publication, the book has sales of more than 45 million copies and has been translated into 23 languages. 

E. B. White (1899-1985) earned his B.A. at Cornell University. He was on staff at the New Yorker, wrote for Harper’s Magazine, and published works of poetry and prose before trying his hand at writing for children. White’s elegance, simplicity, and dry wit balance both his poetry and prose. “His literary style was as pure as any in our language. It was singular, colloquial, clear, unforced, thoroughly American and utterly beautiful” (William Shawn). 

His poetry includes The Fox of Peapack, and Other Poems (1938), The Second Tree from the Corner (1954), and Poems and Sketches of E.B. White (1981). He penned several books for children, publishing Stuart Little in 1945, Charlotte’s Web in 1952, and The Trumpet of the Swan in 1970. His prose for adult readers includes One Man’s Meat (1944), Here Is New York (1949), Letters of E.B. White (1976), and Essays of E.B. White (1977). White was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1973. His honors include the National Medal for Literature, a special Pulitzer award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal. 

​​Garth Williams (1912- 1996) was the renowned illustrator of almost one hundred books for children, including the beloved Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban, and the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. He was born in 1912 in New York City, but raised in England. He founded an art school near London and served with the British Red Cross Civilian Defense during World War II. Williams worked as a portrait sculptor, art director, and magazine artist before doing his first book Stuart Little, thus beginning a long and lustrous career illustrating and developing characters for some of the best known children's books.

CONDITION: 

Very good condition. Rebound in 1/4 blue leather and tan cloth with a color illustration inlaid on the front. Gilt tooling, titles, and raised bands to the spine. Original end papers saved and intact. With past owner's name inscribed on the front free endpaper. Otherwise very clean inside with no marks of any kind. Illustrated throughout. With "FIRST EDITION" and "I-B" stated on the copyright page. Presented with a new archival tan cloth slipcase with an inlay of the original front panel. Book Dimensions (with slipcase): 8 3/4" H x 6" W x 1 1/4" D.




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