MORPURGO, Michael (author). War Horse. Kingswood; Kaye & Ward. 1982.
8vo. Original laminated white pictorial boards, illustrated on both covers in colour and priced £4.95 net to lower board; pp. [iv], 5-142; a very fresh copy with mild uniform discoloration to spine, small compression to spine ends, and tiny knocking to forecorner tips at upper edge; internally fine throughout with a contemporary, and neat, gift inscription to front free endpaper in blue ink; rather scarce, particularly in bright and collectable condition.
First edition, issued without a dustwrapper. Few copies were printed in hardback and, of these, most were destined for lending libraries. This book is a modern children's classic and is based on real life stories of the sacrifices made by horses in war. At the beginning of World War I, Joey, the beloved horse of a young boy called Albert is sold to the cavalry and transferred to France. After his rider, Captain Nicholls, is killed the horse is swept up in the chaos of the Frontline, witnessing death and disease on both sides of the conflict. But back home Albert cannot forget Joey and, despite being too young to enlist, sets out on a dangerous mission to find the animal and bring him home.
The book was adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford and opened at the National Theatre in London in 2007. It enjoyed critical and popular acclaim and transferred to Broadway in 2010. As its fame grew it was announced that Steven Spielberg would direct the film adaptation, to be written by Richard Curtis and Lee Hall. The movie was released in late 2011, starring Jeremy Irvine and Emily Watson, and was nominated in the best film category by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2012.