DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge ("Lewis Carroll"). Autograph letter signed ("C.L. Dodgson"), to Mrs. E.M. Ward, requesting a child-model for Gertrude Thomson. Christ Church, Oxford, 5 April 1892. 2 pages, small 8o, with original hand-addressed envelope.
DODGSON PROCURES A CHILD-MODEL FOR GERTRUDE THOMSON
"You kindly gave me, some while ago, for an artist friend, Miss E.G. Thomson, the address of a 'figure-model', Miss Ada Langley, who has, I believe, proved very useful to Miss Thomson. She now wants to find a younger one, a girl of about 7, to serve as figure-model. The face is of little importance: but she certainly ought to have a good figure : & I should think a good head of hair would be an advantage. Also, she should belong to respectable people. If you happen to know of such a model, & would send her address, either to me, or direct to Miss E.G. Thomson ... I should be most grateful..."
Henrietta Mary Ada Ward (1832-1924) was a painter of the royal family who fell in love with the artist Edward Matthew Ward when she was ten or eleven and married him at sixteen. Dodgson admired Mrs. Ward's painting at the Royal Academy in the late 1850s, presented the Wards with his photographs of the Terry family, and photographed their children over the years. He contacted Mrs. Ward on several occasions with similar requests for assistance in obtaining child-models for himself and other artists (see Letters, p. 692). E. Gertrude Thomson was a close artist friend of Dodgson's, who would later design the cover for Dodgson's Nursery Alice (1889) and his last book Three Sunsets (1898). The two often drew together from the same child-models, especially later when Charles had given up photography.
[With:] [THOMSON, E. Gertrude, illustrator]. ALLINGHAM, William. The Fairies. A Child's Song. London: Thos. De la Rue & Co., . Oblong 4o (204 x 242 mm). Illustrated by Thomson, including 6 full-page illustrations in color. Original dark green pictorial wrappers (some scattered foxing, minor chipping to wrappers). FIRST EDITION of this scarce Pre-Raphaelite fairy poem, believed to be Thomson's first illustrated book. (2)