New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1940. Limited Edition. Hardcover. SIGNED. 244pp. Quarto [29 cm] 1/4 beige cloth with orange patterned paper over boards, with light rubbing to the extremities. Top edge gilt. Pages uncut. Very good. Item #58355
With an Introduction by A. A. Milne. This edition consists of two thousand & twenty copies printed at the Walpole Printing Office. This is copy #685. The illustrations were drawn by Arthur Rackham and the edition was designed by and printed under the supervision of Bruce Rogers. Signed by Bruce Rogers on the limitation page.
From "The History of the Limited Editions Club" by Carol Porter Grossman (Oak Knoll Press, 2017) -
"The Wind in the Willows is a handsome book, and as it turned out, the last book illustrated by Rackham. While George [Macy] had signed a contract with Rackham to do the book in 1936, with publication as an LEC in 1938, Rackham's poor health forced postponement of its publication. He was so ill that he was only allowed to work on the illustrations for about an hour a day. He was very eager to do the work. Years before, Kenneth Grahame had asked Rackham to illustrate the book, but a combination of Rackham's too-busy schedule and the publisher's reluctance to do another deluxe edition when there was still inventory of a prior one prevented it... Rackham perked up at the prospect of finally getting to do the book. He turned down other titles so that he would be able to finish this one. Kenneth Graham's widow was so thrilled that Rackham would illustrate the book that she escorted Rackham to various places along the Thames where Grahame had seen the creatures that inspired his book. Finally, in August 1939, George visited Rackham at his home in Primrose Hill for the last time. Rackham was extremely weak, but very pleased that he had finally finished the 16 illustrations."