AWDRY, The Rev. W. (author). William MIDDLETON (illustrator). The Three Railway Engines.
AWDRY, The Rev. W. (author). William MIDDLETON (illustrator). The Three Railway Engines.
AWDRY, The Rev. W. (author). William MIDDLETON (illustrator). The Three Railway Engines.

AWDRY, The Rev. W. (author). William MIDDLETON (illustrator). The Three Railway Engines.

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SIGNED BY AWDRY

AWDRY, The Rev. W. (author). William MIDDLETON (illustrator). The Three Railway Engines. London; Edmund Ward. [1947].

Small landscape 8vo. Original emerald green silk-cloth, strikingly blocked in gilt with a stylised vignette of three steam engines to upper cover, lettered gilt, preserved in pictorial yellow dustwrapper; pp. [iii], 4-62 + [ii], advert; with coloured plates throughout; externally near fine, internally very clean and fresh throughout with just light foxing to endpapers and a couple of tiny marks; protected by the very scarce, unclipped dustwrapper (correctly priced 4/-) with some scuffing to spine, small chipping to spine ends, a small tiriangular chip to top edge of upper panel (11 x 6mm), and light dusting to lower panel; extremely elusive in dustwrapper in this condition.
First edition: second or third printing, signed by the author in black pen to the title-page. Loosely laid into the volume is an embossed business card of Eric T.L. Marriott, Assistant Managing Director, Kaye & Ward Ltd Publishers, 21, New Street, London EC2M 4NT.
This is the rare first book in Reverend Awdry's celebrated and well-loved Railway Series. It includes the advertisement for Thomas the Tank Engine which was published the following year in 1947.and is therefore not a first printing but importantly has all the original references to the "fat director" on pages 40, 42, 52, 54, 56 and 60. The Fat Director famously became The Fat Controller in editions of the book published from 1947 onwards.
The lower panel of the dustwrapper is printed with publisher's blurb announcing "Truth in a Tale" Series, referring to the publication of "Stony Stream" (1946), "Small Creatures" (1946) and "Birds in Our Garden" (1947) and mentioning the forthcoming title "Birds of the River" which was publishied in 1948.

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