PURPLE COW [as appearing in:] THE LARK
PURPLE COW [as appearing in:] THE LARK

PURPLE COW [as appearing in:] THE LARK

(San Francisco: William Doxey, 1895-1897).

RARE FIRST EDITION INCLUDING THE ELUSIVE “PURPLE COW”. “Sunk in a leafy well I lie and dreaming gaze into the sky far up above the tree tops there a lark swims through the vacant air.”
The Lark was published from 1895 to 1897 by Les Jeunes, “a San Francisco group of literary aesthetes led by Gelett Burgess, who contributed drawings of ‘Goops’ and nonsense verses, including his ‘Purple Cow,’ first pastured there. Although influenced by The Chap Book and English fin de siecle magazines, it had ‘no more serious intention than to be gay,’ and was stopped because Burgess ‘wanted it to die young and in its full freshness.’” Contains work by Gelett Burgess, Bruce Porter, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ernest Peixotto, Willis Polk, Florence Lundborg. Not only is the “Purple Cow” illustration included in the first book, but in a later number, there is an “epilogue” illustration that shows the author of the work, with a skeleton in his hand, the purple cow illustration repeated in the background and the words written above and below: “Ah, yes, I wrote the ‘Purple Cow’--I’m Sorry, now, I wrote it; Bu I can tell you Anyhow I’ll Kill you if you Quote it!”. Item #16229

Complete run of 25 volumes in two books, [Book 1, No’s 1-12; Book 2, No’s 13-24 + The Epilark issue] First edition of the books, First edition, second issue of THE PURPLE COW after a 1st Edition print run of only 15-24 copies as noted by BAL and others. Illustrated throughout. Especially notable: Gelett Burgess’ “The Purple Cow,” in Book 1, No. 1 and his lines in the penultimate issue: "Yes I wrote the Purple Cow, I 'm sorry now I wrote it, but I can tell you anyhow, I'll kill you if you quote it." Many other beautiful illustrations including many by Florence Lundberg and others. 8vo, publisher’s original tan cloth decorated with wonderful color pictorial illustrations on the upper covers (Book 1--the Piping Faun, by Gelett Burgess, the other cover by Florence Lundborg), the spines lettered in brown, text block printed on both sides of China paper. A very nice copy indeed, very well preserved.

Price: $1,500.00