POTTER, Beatrix (author and illustrator). The Tale of Peter Rabbit. London, Frederick Warne And Co. .
16mo. Publisher's charcoal grey paper-covered boards with onlaid pictorial label to upper cover, lettered white, grey leaf endpapers; pp. [vii], 8-97; with integral blanks; illustrated throughout with coloured plates; a very handsome copy of a remarkably scarce book; externally uncommonly fresh and clean with barely any signs of handling, recently professionally and unobtrusively repaired to inner upper hinge, using archival materials, by a skilful restorer; internally fresh with only a very mild bruise to top forecorner of book block and a couple of tiny and incidental interior marks; with a neat contemporary ink inscription in calligraphy to half-title, "Isabel Dorothea Leach from her old friend Agnes Cheetham, March 1903".
First trade edition of Beatrix Potter's first major work and the first edition with coloured plates; one of the first three issues, which are identical, as recorded in all authoritative accounts. The first issue of the work appeared in October 1902, the second printing was in November of that year, and the third in December. From the fourth printing changes are made to the text, with "wept big tears" on page 51 changed to "shed big tears" for this and all subsequent editions, bar facsimiles. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was famously first issued in a privately-printed edition in 1901, paid for by Beatrix Potter herself, in a limited run of only 250 copies, with a coloured frontispiece and other illustrations in line.