First trade edition (second edition overall). Publisher's original quarter green cloth over green and gold paper-covered boards with pictorial onlay and titles in red to the upper board. Illustrated with 25 colour plates depicting a wide of variety of fantastical birds. A very good copy, the binding square and firm with a little rubbing to the boards and wear to the corners. The contents with a contemporary previous owner's name in ink to the front pastedown, toning to the endpapers, a small abrasion to the paper on the half title page verso and the occasional finger mark to page margins are otherwise in very good order. The illustrations remain bold and bright. A surprisingly uncommon book, not often seen in commerce.
Vincent Cartwright Vickers (1879-1939), a prominent economist, created the highly imaginative world of the Google bird and its companions whilst a director at the Bank of England (of which he was also later Governor). A talented humourist and artist, his surreal drawings were originally intended for his children, nephews and nieces (although also perhaps as a form of relief from his day job!). A selection of these were later gathered together with some additional Lear-esque verse to create the present book, first published privately in a limited edition of 100 copies in 1913, followed by this first trade edition issued by the Medici Society in 1931. The work is set in the Land of Google, which can only be visited by children when they are "nearly - but not quite - asleep"; its focus is the eponymous Google, a magical bird creature which sleeps in a pool within a beautiful garden by day and preys upon the various other extravagant, remarkable birds that dwell therein by night. Notably, through the creation of this fantasy world, as well as producing some the most striking and whimsical imagery of the Golden Age of book illustration, Vickers also pioneered the use of the word 'Google', decades before it became the name of a well-known search engine.
Stock code: 21361