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Ashton Rare Books

Stand: M09

Exhibitor's profile

Very scarce with such attributes

Carroll, Lewis

The Hunting Of The Snark : Presentation Copy Signed By The Author

  • Illustrator: Holiday, Henry
  • Published/Imprint: Macmillan and Co, London : 1876


The First UK printing published by Macmillan and Co, London in 1876. The BOOK is in Very Good+ condition. One of approximately 100 copies in the publisher's deluxe binding of red cloth, although only 80 copies may have been ready for Carroll to sign at publication. Full gilt illustration on the front and back covers, all page edges gilt with coated black end papers as issued. The 'Burn' bindery ticket is present (as called for) on the rear paste-down. Complete with all nine illustrations by Henry Holiday with plain tissue guards (one tissue guard is missing). With 'Baker' not 'Butcher' on p. 83. Easing of both hinges but less so the front hinge. The binding remains tight. Slight pushing at the spine ends and a little light rubbing at the corners. The gilt cover decoration remains bright. A few minor marks to a handful of pages but generally a clean copy internally. 'Blairhame' bookplate of the noted bibliophile to the the front pastedown. The book has NOT undergone any restoration or repairs. The book has been inscribed at publication by the author to the half-title: 'William M. Wilcox, from his affte. Cousin & Godfather, the author, Mar. 29. 1876'. With the personal stamp of 'W.M. Wilcox' to the upper half-title page. Wilcox was to sadly die later that year of tuberculosis. Biographer Morton N. Cohen connects the creation of 'The Hunting of the Snark' with the illness of Carroll's cousin and godson Charlie Wilcox.... On 17 July 1874, Carroll travelled to Guildford, Surrey, to care for him for six weeks, while the young man struggled with tuberculosis. The next day, while taking a walk in the morning after only a few hours of sleep, Carroll thought of the poem's final line: 'For the Snark was a Boojum, you see'. [Morton N. Cohen(1995) : Lewis Carroll: A Biography.]. A number of Carroll's relatives including Uncle William Wilcox and many of his Wilcox cousins (Kate, Bessie, Charlie, Leonard, William and George) all died during the period 1868-76 (Lewis Carroll Society). 'Although best known as the author of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (1865) and 'Through the Looking Glass' (1871), Lewis Carroll, was also an avid reader and writer of poetry. He greatly enjoyed the poems of the Victorian writers Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and Christina Rossetti. His own poems were varied .... some humorous nonsense, some filled with hidden meanings, and some serious poems about love and life. [Snark] stands out from all the other poems that Carroll wrote. It has inspired parodies, continuations, musical adaptations, and a wide variety of interpretations. Carroll originally intended it as a set of verses to be included in another of his children's stories, but it grew too long and became a book in its own right (Wakeling). Although issued as a trade edition in a pictorial buff coloured cloth, Carroll had special copies bound in red, blue, green, and white cloth, all with gold decorations, to present to his friends and family. Housed in a custom chemise and half morocco slipcase with gilt tiling. Regarding copies inscribed by the author on publication day, Peter Harrington Books 'trace at auction since 1975, seven copies in red (including the author's own retained copy), five copies in blue, and one in green. They cannot trace any presentation copy of this title in a white binding, and conjecture that these may have not been ready' (Peter Harrington Cat.). A significant presentation copy.

  • Edition: First UK Edition
  • Signed/Inscribed: Inscribed by the author
  • Condition: Very Good+


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