The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
Author: Joan Aiken
Illustrator: Pat Marriott
AIKEN, Joan. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. Illustrated from drawings by Pat Marriott. London: Jonathan Cape . 8vo, 159pp. Black textured boards with spine stamped in silver. 11 full-page and 8 smaller b&w illustrations. Minutely foxed at edge of front free endpaper and even less so on fore-edge, else a fine copy in original color pictorial dust jacket (slight wear at corners and spine ends, spine a tad sunned). With a bookplate signed by the author, Joan Aiken, laid in.
First edition of the author’s first novel, issued a year before the US edition which featured the now-iconic Edward Gorey cover. Joan Aiken’s beloved introduction to The Wolves Chronicles. Wicked wolves and a grim governess threaten Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia when Bonnie's parents leave Willoughby Chase for a sea voyage. Left in the care of the cruel Miss Slighcarp, the girls can hardly believe what is happening to their once happy home. The servants are dismissed, the furniture is sold, and Bonnie and Sylvia are sent to a prison-like orphan school. It seems as if the endless hours of drudgery will never cease. With the help of Simon the gooseboy and his flock, they escape. But how will they ever get Willoughby Chase free from the clutches of the evil Miss Slighcarp? True first editions of this novel are rare, and copies signed by the author even more so.