This is how the original jacket -- now fabulously rare and priced accordingly -- first appeared, on 8th October 1908. Subsequent printings were priced at 7/6 Net.
It was reviewed by Arthur Ransome, who judged it an out-and-out failure - 'like a speech to Hottentots made in Chinese'. However, in later life he likened himself to Old Badger in The Wind in the Willows.
The jacket illustration is assumed to be by Graham Robertson, who provided the frontispiece.
See the Esprit section for a variant of this jacket, which reflects the gilt boards of the book together with contemporary author's photo and review of the book.
ReproJacket #122-A-0, size 196.8x444mm.
This new edition illustrated by E H Shepard was published not long after the 'Christopher Robin' series featuring Winnie-the-Pooh, and shortly after Milne's dramatization of the story in Toad of Toad Hall. It's interesting to note that this title has 'illustrations' rather than 'decorations' by Shepard, which perhaps tells us that 'decorations' was a fancy of A A Milne rather than Ernest Shepard himself.
Grahame didn't live long enough to see the book released with Shepard's illustrations. In a 1950s edition of the book Shepard described his meeting with Grahame: "Not sure about his new illustrator, he listened patiently while I told him what I hoped to do. Then he said 'I love these little people, be kind to them'. Just that; but sitting forward in his chair, resting upon the arms, his fine handsome head turned aside, looking like some ancient Viking, warming, he told me of the river nearby, of the meadows where Mole broke ground that spring morning, of the banks where Rat had his house, of the pool where Otter hid, and of the Wild Wood way up on the hill above the River. He would like, he said, to go with me to show me the river bank that he knew so well, 'but now I cannot walk so far and you must find your way alone'."
Shepard wrote in the preface to this edition "There are certain books that should never be illustrated. Perhaps if it had not already been done I should not have given way to the desire to do it myself."
ReproJacket #110-A-2, size 193x471mm.
This Esprit ReproJacket shows the beautiful gilt-stamped boards of the very first edition of this famous book. The cover illustrations are presumed to be by Graham Robertson, who provided the frontispiece entitled And a River went out of Eden.
Also included are a contemporary review and a photograph of the author on the back flap. The front flap shows the price of the 1st issue, six shillings; it was increased to seven and sixpence for the 2nd issue!
ReproJacket #122-A-1 Esprit, size 196.8x444mm.