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The Blampied Edition of Peter Pan (on UK jacket 1/1)

or J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy (on UK jacket 1/2)

Peter and Wendy (on UK cover 1/1 and 1/2)

Peter Pan and Wendy (on US jacket and cover)

J[ames] M[atthew] Barrie

J.M. Barrie (1860-1937) was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan.

Blampied was invited to illustrate a new edition of this book in early 1938 according to a letter sent to Harold Baily. It took him some time as it wasn't until August 1938 that he was able to write to Harold Baily:*

I tender my regrets for not having been a good correspondent lately - the fact is I have been illustrating again this time the Peter and Wendy book by the late Sir James Barrie for the English publishers Hodder & Stoughton and the American Scribner's who are between them responsible for the next Christmas publication of the book. The work I completed yesterday and believe me the relief is only to be compared to that of Christian in the Pilgrims Progress. The colour illustrations were seen by the committee responsible a few days ago and I hear that their pleasure at the work is no end -- so the lord be praised.

The illustrations for the book were ready in the middle of 1938 but there was a very long delay in publishing it. Blampied wrote to Harold Baily again on 5th December, 1939:

All my drawings and illustrations for the 'Peter Pan' by J. M. Barrie are now all framed and on show at Harrods in London and am told that over £100 has been spent on the framing. This 'Peter Pan' by the way is being titled as the 'Blampied edition of Peter Pan' -- a deluxe edition published at 25 shillings and (I) am booking one to send you as a gift if I may -- But it does not come out before Christmas.

The book was first noted in the Press on 15th December 1939, which is late for the Christmas market, but wasn't reviewed until January, which suggests that copies were not freely available until early in 1940. The Birmingham Daily Post reviewed the book on 23rd January:

'Peter and Wendy' is the tale of Peter Pan and while there have been several previous illustrators, there has been no satisfactory illustrator. Mr Blampied has some of Rackham's fantasy and has done the book rather as Rackham might have done it - which is intended as the fullest compliment. He seems to be the most succesful of those who have pictured the story and after all, it has not, like 'Alice' any claim to have been done once and for all. Mr Blampied draws Peter as he should be - an active boy. The artist's twelve coloured plates have magic vistas and lead the imagination subtly wandering; his full-page line drawings offer such clever glosses on the text as children like.

The reason for the delay in publication is not known, but the Second World War had begun in September 1939, which may have affected supplies of materials to manufacture books. The fact that the book wasn't ready until December 1939 suggests manufacturing problems.

The reason for printing a second impression so quickly and with a different jacket and binding is not clear, either. But it's interesting to note that the dust jacket of the first impression states that it is The Blampied Edition of Peter Pan while the second impression states J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy. Only the title page in each impression states the it is 'The Blampied Edition of Peter Pan'. I wonder whether there were objections to the first jacket and cover, or the book was just felt to be too expensive, so it was reprinted in a simpler binding at 42% of the initial price? But the change in title on the jacket is curious.

The first edition, first issue was issued in green cloth decorated in black with gilt lettering at a price of 25 shillings, and wasn't easily available in shops until 1940; the second impression, which is also dated 1939, was issued in plain cream cloth with lettering in blue, with a different jacket design and priced at 10 shillings and 6 pence, less than half the price of the first impression. Both U.K. impressions are internally the same with 11 tipped in colour plates with titled tissue guards. These were the only two U.K. impressions. The colour plates in the American edition, which was published in 1940, are printed on glossy paper and bound in, not tipped in. The American edition was reprinted many times for at least 30 years, so after Blampied had died.

The original illustrations for the book were bought by the Société Jersiaise in 1940 and are now in the care of the Jersey Heritage Trust. They have faded a little, so sadly are not often seen. Four of the illustrations were featured on Jersey stamps issued for Christmas 1991 (see below).

* Letters held by Hoftsra University, Special Collections


(Last updated on 28/12/2020)



Image of dust jacket


  First edition thus, first impression

Bibliography code: HOD-39.2i

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Series: none

Year: 1939 (actually early 1940)

Format: 4to

Pages: decorated endpapers, signed Blampied; half-title; tipped on frontispiece with titled tissue guard; decorated title page; viii; pp 216, free endpaper; decorated endpapers

Binding: dark green cloth with title, author and 'Illustrated by Edmund Blampied' in gilt, with impressed decoration below in black; same text in gilt at top of spine, image of Peter Pan and title at base in black

Size: 287 x 227 mm

Dust jacket: illustration facing p 88 on front, signed Blampied lower centre

Internal illustrations: frontispiece and 11 illustrations signed Blampied on glossy paper, tipped in, with titled tissue guards facing pages 48, 64, 80, 88, 96, 120, 128, 152, 176, 184 and 192; 17 illustrations in pen and ink, 8 initialled EB, one signed Blampied

Price: 25 shillings

Printing history: First printed 1939

Printed by: Hazell Watson and Viney Ltd., Aylesbury and London




Image of cover

Image of cover of first edition, first impression (click to enlarge)


Note: The jacket is printed on thick coated paper but it is easily scratched and worn by contact, hence the marks on the rear of the jacket and the faintness of the brown lettering on the front.





Image of dust jacket


●  First edition thus, second impression

Bibliography code: HOD-39.2ii

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Series: J.M. Barrie's 'Peter Pan' books

Year: 1939 (actually 1940)

Format: 4to

Pages: decorated endpapers, signed Blampied; half-title; tipped on frontispiece with titled tissue guard; decorated title page; viii; pp 216, endpapers

Binding: cream cloth with author, title (Peter Pan and Wendy), and 'Illustrated by Edmund Blampied' in black with same deoration as first UK impression; same text in gilt on spine with publisher in black at base

Size: 287 x 227 mm

Dust jacket: printed on thick paper with illustration facing page 120 to front, signed Blamied lower right

Internal illustrations: frontispiece and 11 illustrations signed Blampied on glossy paper, facing pages 48, 64, 80, 88, 96, 120, 128, 152, 176, 184 and 192; 17 illustrations in pen and ink, 8 initialled EB, one signed Blampied

Price: 10 shillings 6 pence

Printing history: First printed 1939

Printed by: Hazell Watson and Viney Ltd., Aylesbury and London




Image of cover

Image of cover of first edition, second impression (click to enlarge)





Image of dust jacket

Image of jacket of first US edition (click to enlarge)


  First US edition, first impression

Bibliography code: HOD-39.3a

Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons, New York

Series: none

Year: copyright 1940

Format: 4to

Pages: decorated endpapers, signed Blampied; half-title; frontispiece; decorated title page; viii; pp 216, free endpaper; endpapers

Binding: cream cloth with author, title (J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy), and 'Illustrated by Edmund Blampied' in black; same text in gold on spine with publisher at base in black and a small drawing of Peter Pan between

Size: 253 x 190 mm; later impressions 237 x 180 mm

Dust jacket: illustration facing page 120, signed Blampied lower right

Internal illustrations: 11 illustrations signed Blampied on glossy paper, bound in, facing pages 48, 64, 80, 88, 96, 120, 128, 152, 176, 184 and 192. The pages facing the illustrations are blank and not numbered. 17 illustrations in pen and ink, 8 initialled EB, one signed Blampied

Price: initially $3.50

Printing history: Copyright 1940 by Charles Scribners' sons

Printed by: Printed in the United States of America

Image of cover

Image of cover of first US edition (click to enlarge)



Notes: This edition is almost identical to the U.K. edition and has decorated end papers, but the illustrations are not tipped in, they are printed on unnumbered glossy paper and bound in.



  First US edition, later impression

Bibliography code: HOD-39.3b

Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons, New York

Series: none

Year: copyright 1940 [1956 to 1965]

Format: 4to

Pages: no endpapers, half-title; frontispiece; decorated title page; viii; pp 216, free endpaper

Binding: cream cloth with author, title (J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy), and 'Illustrations by Edmund Blampied' in black on cover; same text in gold on spine with publisher at base in black and small image of Peter Pan dancing in black

Size: 237 x 180 mm

Dust jacket: illustration facing page 120, signed Blampied lower right

Internal illustrations: 11 illustrations signed Blampied on glossy paper, bound in, facing pages 56, 73, 76, 88, 105, 120, 137, 152, 169, 184 and 201. The pages facing the illustrations are blank and not numbered. 17 illustrations in pen and ink, 8 initialled EB, one signed Blampied

Price: perhaps $5.95

Printing history: Copyright 1940 by Charles Scribners' sons

Printed by: Printed in the United States of America

Image of cover

Image of cover of later US edition (click to enlarge)



Notes: This later impression is 6 cm smaller in height and does not have decorated end papers. The colour drawings are bound in between different pages.



  First US edition, later impression

Bibliography code: HOD-39.3c

Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons, New York

Series: none

Year: copyright 1940 [1967]

Format: 4to

Pages: no endpapers, half-title; frontispiece; decorated title page; viii; pp 216, free endpaper

Binding: plain cream cloth; title, author, illustrator, small figure of Peter Pan and publisher in black on the spine

Size: 237 x 180 mm

Dust jacket: illustration facing page 120, signed Blampied lower right

Internal illustrations: 11 illustrations signed Blampied on glossy paper, bound in, facing pages 56, 73, 76, 88, 105, 120, 137, 152, 169, 184 and 201. The pages facing the illustrations are blank and not numbered. 17 illustrations in pen and ink, 8 initialled EB, one signed Blampied

Price: perhaps $6.95

Printing history: Copyright 1940 by Charles Scribners' sons

Printed by: Printed in the United States of America

Image of cover

Image of cover of later US edition (click to enlarge)


Notes: This later impression does not have a decorated cover, no endpapers, and the colour drawings are bound in between different pages as in HOD-39.3b.



Notes on the American edition. This edition was reprinted many times, into the early 1970s, so there may be other differences between impressions, not reported here. My descriptions are based on copies I have, or have seen on eBay, as there are usually photographs. The main differences in the book are in the binding, the end papers, and the page order of the colour plates. The design of the dust jacket remained the same, only the price changed and the advert on the rear fold-in. As this book was often given as a gift, the price has usually been cut off. Later impressions were slightly smaller than the first, without decorated endpapers, and the illustrations were bound between different pages.

Most American impressions have a copyright date of 1940 on the copyright page. The date may also be given on the title page: I have seen 1940 and 1953. Scribner's also used an alphanumeric code on the title page of some impressions. I have read that, after 1929, Scribner's used the letter 'A' on the copyright page to denote a first edition but I have seen impresssions without an 'A' and, if letters of the alphabet were then used sequentially, I have see no impressions with the letters 'B' to 'H'.

The following markings have been seen on copies of books with their possible date:

If you have a copy with a different code, especially if there is a dated inscription and the price, please let me know what it is so that I can add it to this list.




●  Jersey stamps, Christmas 1991

Image of stamps on cover

Image of Peter Pan stamps issued by Jersey Postal Service in 1991 (click to enlarge)