London, South Kensington
30 November 2005
DODGSON, Charles ('Lewis Carroll'). Doublets. London: Macmillan, 1879.
12° (154 x 100mm). (Title evenly browned, occasional light soiling.) Original red cloth, blind ruled and gilt-lettered (a few small spots, small stain on rear endpapers); modern burgundy cloth box with red morocco sides gilt-lettered. Provenance: Sophia Neate (?1832-1908, inscription from the author) -- sale, Sotheby's London, 2 June 1975, lot 410.
FIRST COMPLETE AND FIRST PUBLISHED EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY DODGSON to 'Mrs. Neate from the Author'. Sophia Neate of Heatherside, Woking, took on the care of Sally Sinclair and her siblings, whom Dodgson liked very much, when their parents died. Neate was supported financially by Dodgson and the actor Lionel Brough. On first meeting Mrs Neate on 26 June 1879, Dodgson wrote in his diary that he 'found her so interesting thatI stayed 4 hours!' (Diary 7 (2003), p.184). He occasionally visited her and noted the progress of the Sinclair children as they grew (Letters p.334n). Dodgson invented the game at Christmas 1877, and it 'gained considerable vogue, and is still popular' (WMGC p.100). An abridged edition was also published in the same year. The present copy is in a blank envelope in which it may have been given to Mrs. Neate. Williams, Madan, Green and Crutch 133a.
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