London: Jonathan Cape, 1980. [Children's Illustrated] FIRST EDITION. Octavo (24 x 16cm), pp.80. Illustrated in-text throughout by Blake. Publisher's red cloth with gilt titles to spine. With the dust-jacket also illustrated by Blake, priced at £3.50. Final gathering more heavily browned than the rest of the book. A little spotting to top edge and some light rubbing. Jacket very lightly sunned to spine, with some bruising to edges. Near fine. This much-loved children's classic began as a diatribe against beards because Dahl had a particular distaste for them, and the plaintive first line of the book, "What a lot of hairy-faced men there are around nowadays", may have reacquired some of that initial resonance for its audience today. The story is told through the medium of vicious pranks played by the husband and wife pair upon one another, all the while brutalising the monkeys in their care. Item #53216
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