The Frost-King; or, The Power of Kindness
1855, first UK edition of this early Louisa M Alcott title
First UK edition, hardback, bound in the original red cloth with fine gilt titling and decoration to spine and upper board. All edges gilt. 18 × 13.5cm, 208pp.
Title given as The Frost-King; or The Power of Love, and How it Prevailed over Fear and Cruelty to title page.
This is the first UK printing of Louisa May Alcott's The Frost King (published in the US as Flower Fables), written in 1849 when she was 17 and not published until six years later. The book consists eleven short tales and poems of fairies, elves and the like and each with a wholesome lesson for the children it was written for. The book is illustrated with engravings by the Brothers Dalziel, with frontispiece and five full page plates as well as headings and tailpieces.
The stories are 1. The Frost-King; or, The Power of Kindness, 2. Eva's Visit to Fairy-Land, 3. Lily-Bell and Thistle-Down, 4. Little Bud, 5. Little Sunbeam's Song of Clover-Blossom, 6. Little Annie's Dream, 7. Star-Twinkle; or, The Flower's Lesson on Humility, 8. The May-Day Festival, 9. The Voice of the Wind, 10. Ripple, The Water-Spirit, 11. Fairy Song.
This rare copy is in fair condition only. There is a tear to the fabric of the front joint running down from the head of the spine for 4.5cm, and the cloth has folded back. There is bumping and rubbing to the boards' edges and the red cloth is dulled. The inner binding is pulled but secure, and all pages and plates are present though there is some spotted foxing and finger marking to the margins. Previous owner's gift inscription to front pastedown. The book remains in good readable condition.