DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge ('Lewis Carroll') (1832-1898). Unpublished autograph letter signed 'C.L. Dodgson' to Mabel Amy Burton ('My dear Mabel'), The Chestnuts, Guildford, January 1 1880, one page, 12° (folded once). Dodgson expresses a rather negative opinion of a photograph he has taken of Mabel; it is a 'horrid likeness' which will remind him of what she looks like in her 'worst tempers'. The letter loosely inserted in:
[DODGSON, C. L.]. Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice found there. London: Macmillan, 1872. 8° (181 x 122mm). 50 illustrations by John Tenniel. (Half-title spotted, one illustration coloured in green, occasional light mainly marginal spotting and soiling.) Original red cloth gilt with vignettes of the Red and White Queens on covers (rebacked with old spine relaid, covers rather soiled and stained, corners rubbed). Provenance: Annette Catherine Cust of Ellesmere (her father's gift inscription on half-title dated 1871, and 'Ellesmere' bookplate) -- John Francis Neylan (bookplate). FIRST EDITION. Williams, Madan 46. In modern morocco-backed slipcase:
[DODGSON, C. L.]. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. London: Macmillan, 1866. 8° (190 x 125mm). 42 illustrations by John Tenniel. (Half-title and frontispiece tipped onto front free endpaper, title with short closed tears, many text leaves with repaired tears, some marginal but others through lines of text, N2 with corner repair, AA1r with ink mark, light mainly marginal spotting and soiling.) Original red cloth gilt with vignettes of Alice and the Cheshire Cat (rebacked with old spine relaid, rubbed, some staining to covers, corners worn, mauve endpapers rubbed and creased). Provenance: John Francis Neylan (bookplate). Second (first published) edition. Williams, Madan 84.
The inscription in Through the Looking Glass has the interest of revealing its true publication date. The 'Mabel' of Dodgson's letter was Mabel Amy Burton (b.1869), one of the subjects of his photographs. Their first meeting is recorded by Dodgson in his diary entry for 16 August 1877: 'I never became friends with a child so easily or so quickly'. He later instructed Mabel that 'my letters to you are for you and no one else' (My Remembrances of Lewis Carroll, unpublished typescript in the family's possession), and it seems that for this reason Mabel refused to allow any of them to be copied and published by editors of Dodgson's correspondence. (2)