"Goblin Feet" in: The Book of Fairy Poety
First edition, 1920
Longman, 1920. 1st edition. Illustrated with 16 tipped-in colour plates (mounted on stiff grey paper, with tissue guards) and 16 line drawings. 180 pages. 25x19 cm. Edited by Dora Owen.
This sought-after fairy book is notable not only for its fantasy artwork by the Golden Age artist Warwick Goble, but also because it features the first illustrated appearance of "Goblin Feet" by JRR Tolkien. Originally published in "Oxford Poety 1915", the poem is here accompanied by a colour plate entitled "And the padding feet of many gnomes a-coming", which has the distinction of being the very first illustration to accompany any of Tolkien's published work - years before The Hobbit.
Warwick Goble (1862-1943) was a contemporary of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, specializing in fantasy subjects, particularly with Indian and Japanese themes. The son of a commercial traveller, he studied at the City of London School and at the Westminster School of Art. His best-known works include "The Water Babies" (1909), "Green Willow and Other Japanese Fairy Tales" (1910), as well as H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds (1898).
Dora Owen's rich selection of verse - seperated into three sections: "Fairy Stories", "Fairy Songs, Dances, and Talk", and "Fairyland and Fairy Lore" - included contributions from writers such as Walter de la Mare, Michael Drayton, Florence Harrison, Robert Herrick, Tom Hood, Ben Jonson, John Keats, Andrew Lang, William Allinson, John Milton, Christina Rossetti, William Shakespeare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alfred Lord Tennyson, W.B. Yeats, Sir Walter Scott, a.o.
Scare in any condition - here particularly well preserved for age, complete with the rare dust jacket.
Contents crisp, very clean. Usual age-toning to paper, one or two foxing spots, one tissue guard with a little creasing, one plate with small corner crease (not very noticeable), one plate with tiny surface chip, one or two pairs of gathering stretched, one pair of leaves clumsily opened (with ragged edges), small gift inscription to first (blank) page, untrimmed (exposed) page edges and corners with usual bumping, creasing, a few small nicks. Endpapers with usual offsetting, a little foxing; both free endpapers with creasing. Top of page block with foxing, a litte scratching, some loss of colour. Binding tight. Boards and spine very clean, as shown, with bumping, rubbing and wear to extremities, softening to corners; spine with a little discoloration plus glue-repaired tear (see scans). Dust jacket as per images, with creasing, discoloration, soiling, tears and wear; spine with some loss, previously seperated from front and back panels (now glue-repaired, with paper reinforcement to reverse of spine area); supplied in removable archival sleeve.*