Le Petit Prince (first softcover edition)
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Le Petit Prince (first softcover edition)

New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1943. First edition First softcover edition. Color illustrated stiff wrappers. 92 pp. Illustrations in color and black and white by the author. Text in French. First state with publisher's name and author's name wrapping slightly around the spine strip onto the covers; so-called "flying crow" (actually a printing fault) present in illustration on p. 63. The extremely scarce first softcover edition of this, one of the most famous and best loved of all 20th century books. Though not always as pricey, the first softcover edition is far scarcer than the hardcover edition; both were printed in New York, both in the original French and the English translation due to the Second World War (the first French-published edition would not appear until 1946). The wives of Saint Exupery's publishers Eugene Reynal and Curtice Hitchcock set the author and his wife up in an apartment in New York in the early 1940s and it was Elizabeth Reynal who, upon seeing Saint Exupery's doodles and sketches of the "Little Prince", urged him to assemble them into book form with text. He produced the watercolors and text in the summer and fall of 1942 and Reyal & Hitchcock published it in 1943 (NY Times, Jan. 23, 2014). These original drawings were exhibited at the Morgan Library in winter, 2014. Condition: tight, internally clean and bright with even toning to the covers, small scuff to the upper portion of the planet on which the Little Prince stands and again to the bottom front left corner; light corner crease lower front right. Soiling a bit heavier about the very edges. The rear wrap has spot staining along the left hand side that extends to the edge of the rear blank and less so to the final page of text. An image may be viewed on our web site. Very Good Softcover (Item ID: E13859)


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