This tale is rather curious, being an allegory or fable, and at first glance probably a children's story. It does, however, have a dark ending and a philosophical afterword which perhaps rather indicates a more adult readership was intended.
Sir Henry Maximilian "Max" Beerbohm (1872-1956) was an English essayist, parodist and caricaturist under the signature 'Max'. He first became known in the 1890s as a dandy and a humorist, and was the drama critic for the Saturday Review from 1898-1910, when he relocated to Rapallo, Italy. In his later years he was popular for his occasional radio broadcasts. Among his best-known works is his only novel, 'Zuleika Dobson' (1911). His caricatures, drawn usually in pen or pencil with muted watercolour tinting, are in many public collections.
Our book is in very nice condition, its grey/buff paper cover largely protected with a thin plastic sleeve, and showing no signs of wear apart from one small black mark at the foot of the spine; title etc on front in red lettering, repeated on the spine, with price of 7/6. Top edge of fold-ins slightly browned. The book itself is in pale grey paper-covered boards with a red cloth spine bearing title etc in gilt, and shows no external signs of wear or use apart from 2 very slight marks from the sellotape used to attach the plastic sleeve to the outer cover (see photo). Inside, feps quite browned beyond edge of jacket fold-in; binding firm with no loose pages; all pages clean and bright; a few spots of foxing on fore-edge, quite severe foxing on halftitle page, some on reverse of the title page and 2 or 3 spots on the first page of the book. Coloured frontispiece clean.