Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: An 1865 printing re-described
CARROLL (Lewis) [DODGSON (Charles)]:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: An 1865 printing re-described … with a revised and expanded Census of the Suppressed 1865 “ALICE” compiled by Selwyn H. Goodacre.
Kingston, NY: Battledore, Ltd., 1990.
Includes an important short-title index identifying and locating the original preliminary drawings for both “Alice” and “Looking-Glass”; aside from essays and descriptions by Justin G. Schiller.
When a teacher of mathematics at Oxford University, Charles L. Dodgson told a fantastic tale to a little girl and her sisters during a summer picnic outing in 1862, there was invented a world literary classic and the third most frequently quoted book in the English language. Using the pseudonym “Lewis Carroll”, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was printed by the Clarendon Press Oxford and published in London by Macmillan in 1865 but most people do not realize that this first edition was suppressed and has subsequently become amongst the most valuable rare books ever produced. Prominent Dodgson bibliographer Selwyn Goodacre and rare books specialist Justin Schiller created this tribute for the 125th anniversary of the first publication of “Alice”, and it has become the definitive study of this controversial first printing: including a census of 23 recorded copies with individual histories and provenance plus details of the original pencil preliminaries and final artwork for Tenniel’s world-famous illustrations. Many of these original images are reproduced here for the first time in their created form despite being so well-known translated as printed woodblock designs.
Later research by Francis Wahlgren of Christie’s New York unraveled what Harvard professor William Bond alluded to in a footnote, clarifying that the purple markings in this specific copy were actually made by Lewis Carroll and intended to edit and abridge the final text for publication to young children as The Nursery Alice (1889). Subsequently, this one copy was auctioned in December 1998 for more than US$1.5 million to become the most precious children’s book in existence.
8vo, 112pp. printed on Mohawk soft-white Superfine 100lb. acid-free archival paper with a very special binding in full-color laminated boards, simulating the gilt leather binding on the publisher’s file copy.
“… a treasure trove of valuable information and will be immensely useful to art and literary historians.” Morton N Cohen, The Book Collector, Autumn 1992
“… as much about the romance of collecting Alice as its bibliography.” Andrea Immel, PBSA, June 1991
“… The story of how [this rare copy was acquired] is almost as fantastic as Alice itself.” Iona Opie, Children’s Literature Scholar
“… A Truly Wonder-ful book!” Maurice Sendak, Author/Artist