Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
The Hunting of the Snark. 1876
DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge ('Lewis Carroll', 1832-1898). The Hunting of the Snark. London: Macmillan and Co., 1876.
A remarkable presentation copy of the first edition, inscribed by Carroll to his brother on the day of publication: ‘Edwin Heron Dodgson, from his aff[ectiona]te. brother, the Author, Mar. 29. 1876’. Edwin Dodgson (1846-1918) was the 11th and youngest of the Dodgson children, whose career as a clergyman saw him undertake missionary work in Zanzibar, Cape Verde, St Helena, and Tristan da Cunha in the south Atlantic Ocean, the most remote human settlement in the world, where he spent eight years as a school teacher.
Further to the publisher’s cream cloth binding in which this work was generally issued to the public, Carroll also ordered a number of special bindings in blue, green, white and, ‘to match Alice’, 100 copies in the present red cloth. The author’s own copy, sold at the sale of his books in 1898, was also bound in red cloth. ‘The poem describes with infinite humour the impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature. It has been called the “Odyssey of the Nonsensical”’ (Williams-Madan-Green-Crutch). Williams-Madan-Green-Crutch 115; Williams 31.
Octavo (183 x 123mm). 9 illustrations after Henry Holiday (some small stains, heavier to pp.18-19). Original red cloth, gilt-stamped, spine gilt lettered, gilt edges, Burn & Co. binder's ticket at rear inside cover (some faint marks, lightly rubbed at extremities, short splits at lower joint and hinges). Provenance: Edwin Heron Dodgson (presentation inscription from his brother dated March 29, 1876 on half-title) – S. A. James (inscription and ink stamp on half-title) – a few pencil annotations.