The First Edition in English of a Dearly Loved Children's Story, Now Seen as One of the First Environmental Novels


(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1928). 223 x 132 mm. (8 x 5 1/4"). 293, [1] (ads) pp.Translated by Whittaker Chambers. Foreword by John Galsworthy. First Edition in English, First Printing (July, 1928).

Very pretty light green morocco (stamp-signed "Asprey" on rear turn-in), upper corner of covers with concentration of gilt leaves extending outward, raised bands, compartments with gilt leaves and lettering, pictorial endpapers bound in at rear, gilt tooled turn-ins, all edges gilt. With 26 full-page illustrations by Kurt Wiese. Spine very lightly sunned, small half-inch marginal repair at bottom of p. 61, otherwise in pristine condition inside and out.

First published in German in 1923, and offered here in its first English printing, this is the story of a young male deer whose experiences of life in the forest and unfortunate contacts with humans comprise what is considered to be one of the first environmental novels. In his foreword, Nobel Prize-winner John Galsworthy declares, "For delicacy of perception and essential truth I can hardly know any story of animals that can stand beside this study of a forest deer." This is all the more remarkable since the author was a city boy: a Hungarian Jew by birth, Salten (1869-1945) grew up in Vienna, where he lived and worked until forced by the Nazis to flee to Switzerland in 1936. He wrote prolifically, but "Bambi" is by far his best-known work. It has been translated into 30 languages, and although written for adults, was memorably made into an animated film by Disney in 1942. "Bambi" is difficult to find in fine condition, and the beautiful binding here makes this an especially agreeable copy. The high-end New Bond Street emporium Asprey has been a London fixture since 1781, serving as jewellers to a long line of British monarchs, and it sells a range of luxury goods, including finely bound books (for a short time, it even owned the merged firms of Zaehnsdorf and Sangorski & Sutcliffe).

Price: $2,400.00