DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge ('Lewis Carroll'). Rhyme? And Reason? London: R. Clay, Sons, and Taylor for Macmillan, 1883.
8° (181 x 123mm). Illustrations after Arthur B. Frost and Henry Holiday. (Occasional light soiling, frontispiece lacking tissue guard.) Original vellum gilt, gilt edges (light soiling, boards lightly bowed). Provenance: Lady Beatrix Maud Wolmer (née Gascoyne-Cecil, 1858-1950, inscription from the author, and by descent; sale, Bloomsbury, 15 December 1994, lot 395).
FIRST EDITION, ONE OF ONLY 5 KNOWN COPIES IN THE RARE VELLUM PRESENTATION BINDING, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR: 'Lady Maud Wolmer with the sincere regards of the Author. Feb. 9. 1884'. Dodgson first met Lady Maud Cecil (later Lady Wolmer and Countess of Selborne), in 1871 on a visit to Hatfield House when she was a little girl. He spent three nights there to help celebrate a birthday, and described the visit as 'one of the pleasantest visits I have ever spent' (Diary 6 (2001), p.165). He returned the following year, and again at the end of the year, when 'he took up the ritual of spending New Year's Day at Hatfield. Dodgson's story-telling became very much a part of his visits, and DODGSON INVENTED SOME OF THE EARLY CHAPTERS IN SYLVIE AND BRUNO EXPRESSLY FOR THE CECIL CHILDREN. Hatfield House and some of its inhabitants served, in fact, as models for places and characters in the stories' (Letters p.212n). One of an unrecorded but small number of copies bound in vellum; this is the only such copy recorded by ABPC having sold at auction in the last 30 years. Williams, Madan, Green and Crutch 160.