N.P. Possibly printed by Charlotte Selver in New York, N.D.; appears to have been printed in the 1940s. Small octavo. Paper wrappers, 8.25 x 5.25 inches, 17 pp. Original wrappers, cover design by Eric Carle, with chipping and loss to wrappers, particularly to upper-right of front wrapper (appx 2 x 3 inches); tape repairs to closed tears to front wrapper; faint toning to title page with light creasing to certain leaves; leaves bright and unmarked. Neat ink signature of Charlotte Selver, the apparent publisher, to title page verso beneath the following note: “This little document has been close to my heart ever since I read it’s German translation called ‘Bekenntnis einer Freundschaft,’ and I have always wanted to share it. My friends came to help. Inge Sammet translated it from the original French, Eric Carle designed the cover for it. Here it is: a true ‘LETTER TO A FRIEND.’” The number “123” is written in ink beneath Selver’s signature, suggesting that this may be number 123 of a limited print run. Scarce. Item #116
Original issue English translation of this little-known work by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944), the author of the beloved classic The Little Prince (Le petite prince) (1943). Saint-Exupéry was a French writer, journalist, and pioneering aviator who is best remembered for his novella The Little Prince, which he wrote, illustrated, and first published a year before his untimely death. The story, which follows a crashed pilot and his encounter with a childlike prince in search of his home planet, has sold over 140 million copies around the world and is now among the most translated works in history. He is also known for his lyrical memoir Wind, Sand and Stars (Terre des hommes) (1939), which draws upon his years as a French aviator and offers a poignant meditation on friendship, loss, adventure, and the search for human meaning. This scarce English translation of Saint-Exupéry’s Letter to a Friend appears to have been published as part of a small print run in the 1940s. This small tract offers Saint-Exupéry’s heartfelt reflections upon love and friendship in times of conflict and war: “My friend, I need you as one needs a mountaintop where one can breathe.” As with his other celebrated works, Letter to a Friend combines biographical storytelling with moving philosophical reflection to better fathom the depths of the human spirit in times of anguish and anxiety. A rare work from one of the world’s most treasured authors.