POTTER, Beatrix (author and illustrator). The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. London; Frederick Warne And Co. 1903.
12mo. Original slate grey boards lettered in white with onlaid pictorial roundel to upper cover, pictorial endpapers, protected by original printed glassine dustwrapper; pp. [vii], 8-84 + [ii], including integral blanks; illustrated throughout with coloured plates after watercolours; externally fine, internally near fine with slight speckling to fore-edge of book block, light dusting to endpapers, and a neat contemporary ink inscription to half-title, dated Xmas 1903, protected by the scarce glassine wrapper, priced 1/-, with some toning, small nicking to base of spine, two chips to the same (maximum 10 x 10mm) and a larger triangular area of loss to top edge of upper panel (40 x 30mm maximum); scarce, especially in the jacket, which rarely survives.
First edition, third printing, dated 1903 to the title-page, as called for, with 'Author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit' after the author's name there.
Squirrel Nutkin, "a Tale about a tail", tells the story of a red squirrel and her brother Twinkleberry. It is one of the earliest of her books being only the third published volume in her animal series following The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1901) and The Tailor of Gloucester (1902), which were both privately published at the author's own expense. Squirrel Nutkin also enjoys the distinction of being only the second of her works to be issued to the general public, following the trade edition of Peter Rabbit in 1902, and the first to contain the pictorially decorated endpapers which were newly designed here by Potter for the series and which were adapted, with each new title, to include different characters.
The printed glassine wrapper is correct for the book, listing The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902), The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (1903) and The Tailor of Gloucester (1903) as titles in print and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of Two Bad Mice as books in preparation for 1904; thus accurately situating the publishing date as 1903.