Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2016 Issue

A Catalogue of Lewis Carroll from Peter Harrington

Cab0a471-5007-4bdc-aed9-5b5ded3a4f1c

Lewis Carroll.

Peter Harrington has published a catalogue of Lewis Carroll (Charles L. Dodgson). A Selection from the Library of an English Bibliophile. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was an unassuming mathematician and logician with a stammer, a deacon in the Anglican church, and a photographer. However, he had a way with entertaining children with stories and games he devised. One such story was made up to entertain the young daughter of friends, Alice Liddell. One day, Alice insisted he write down the story. Dodgson had already published some poetry under the name Lewis Carroll, but the Lewis Carroll generations have come to revere was born with the stories of a fictional girl named "Alice" and her amazing adventures. Dodgson wrote some mathematical and logic books under his own name, but the fantasy and children's works were all under the name "Carroll." To a large extent, he hid the Carroll identity from the mathematical world, fearing it would diminish his serious reputation.

 

Carroll was a real stickler when it came to quality. Perhaps his mathematical mind led him to insist on perfection. Even before the publication of the book which made his a household name, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, he was dissatisfied with the first print run. Actually, it was illustrator John Tenniel who was most dissatisfied, but that was enough to lead Carroll to insist on its reprinting. The result is that the first printing is so rare as to make it virtually unobtainable. Instead, a second edition (though first published) was printed in 1866. Item 1 is a copy of this second, but first published edition. Priced at £57,500 (British pounds, or approximately $83,039 in U.S. dollars).

 

Nevertheless, Carroll wasn't wasteful. Multiple times he would agree to a way of using what he considered inferior printing jobs without throwing the pages away. They would simply be sent off to America to be used in American editions. Carroll believed that Americans, unlike his own nationals, were more concerned about price than quality. The outcome was that the pages from the suppressed first edition were bound with a new title page and issued from New York. Item 2 is a copy of what is therefore a second issue of the first edition, published later in 1866 than the second edition, though all but the title page were printed in 1865. Ironically, this edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with its inferior pages, comes in a decorated and bejeweled morocco case from the 1920's by fine binders Sangorski & Sutcliffe. £27,500 (US $39,743).

 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has been popular since the day it was published, never out of print. Item 4 is a sixth edition from 1877, the "fifty-fifth thousand." This copy was inscribed "from the Author," Carroll's most common way of describing himself (perhaps thereby removing the Carroll/Dodgson issue) on November 28, 1891. The recipient was Rhoda Liddell, Alice's younger sister. Carroll was friendly with the Liddell family, and had created the forerunner of his story for their daughter Alice, but Rhoda was seven years younger than Alice, too young to be involved with his stories at the time. By 1863, when she was just four, Carroll had a falling out with the Liddell family. They reconciled, but drifted apart. So this connection many years later, when Rhoda was 31, is interesting. A letter from Carroll to Mrs. Liddell nine days prior to this inscription invites her two youngest daughters, Rhoda and the still younger Violet, to visit him. Carroll says he has lots of photos they may like to see, and that since he is now 60 years of age and his romantic sentiments gone, it's all quite safe. Presumably, Rhoda and possibly Violet responded positively to that invitation and met Carroll on November 28. £42,500 (US $61,317).

 

Item 10 is an unusually inscribed copy of the first French edition of Alice (1869), Aventures d'Alice au pays des merveilles. Carroll inscribed many books, notably to his "child friends," but usually he signed them "from the author." Only occasionally will you find him use his actual name, "Dodgson," or his pseudonym, "Carroll." That's why this copy is so unusual. He has used both. He also has done so in his typical playfully backwards way. He inscribes it, "'Lewis Carroll' alias Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Christmas 1871." He has pretended his real name is the pseudonym. Carroll wished to separate his children's writer image (Carroll) from that of his mathematical scholar (Dodgson), so connecting the two is surprising. However, in keeping with his normal habit, Carroll has written the inscription in violet ink. £17,500 (US $25,255).

 

Item 45 is a collection of Carroll's comic poems, mostly part of earlier works, but with a few new ones. The title is Rhyme? And Reason? published in 1883. It contains 65 illustrations by Arthur B. Frost and 9 by Henry Holiday. However, the inscription in this copy is to "J. Tenniel, with sincere regards of the author. Dec. 7/83." John Tenniel was Carroll's first illustrator, the man who illustrated the two Alice books. When Carroll first approached Tenniel, he knew him through his work as a cartoonist for Punch magazine. Tenniel also was an occasional book illustrator at the time and consented. Carroll and Tenniel were never particularly close as friends, but obviously respected each other's work. Carroll attempted to get Tenniel to illustrate a third book after Looking Glass, but Tenniel declined, saying he had lost his touch for book illustration. He instead focused his work on Punch. Despite their no longer working together, Carroll had sufficient respect for Tenniel to continue sending him presentation copies of his new books. £17,500 (US $25,255).

 

Peter Harrington may be reached at 020 7591 0220 (USA 011 44 20 7591 0220) or mail@peterharringtonbooks.com. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk or www.peterharringtonbooks.com (for U.S. customers).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> C.F. Payne, <i>Micawber—Imitating Norman Rockwell's "Triple self-portrait,"</i> acrylic, watercolor & colored pencil, 2002. Sold June 2021 for $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Jane Russell, archive of letters written during a whaling voyage, 1840s. Sold July 2021 for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Guild of Women Binders, exhibition binding of A.F. Pollard’s <i>Henry VIII,</i> London, 1902. Sold July 2021 for $12,350.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Robert Frost, <i>Collected Poems,</i> author’s presentation copy, signed, with entirety of <i>Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening</i> inscribed, NY, 1930. Sold June 2021 for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> James Joyce, <i>Ulysses,</i> deluxe limited issue, signed, London, 1936. Sold June 2021 for $21,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Mercator [family], <i>[World and Continents],</i> 5 double-page maps, Amsterdam, c. 1633. Sold June 2021 for $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Schlegel, <i>New York, Taken from Central Park,</i> hand-finished color-tinted lithograph, 1874. Sold June 2021 for $11,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolaus Copernicus, <i>De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium,</i> second edition, Basel, 1566. Sold April 2021 for $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Book of Hours, Use of Utrecht, illuminated manuscript, c. 1435-45. Sold April 2021 for $60,000.
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Bible, English. The Holy Bible, Second Folio edition, the "Great She Bible", engraved More-Speed 1611 map of Canaan, Robert Barker, 1613-11. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Galilei (Galileo). <i>Opere,</i> 2 vol., first collected edition, Bologna, Heirs of Dozza for Carlo Manolessi, 1656-1655. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Venetian choirbook.- Single leaf from a 13th century Venetian antiphonal, with large decorated initial, manuscript on vellum, Venice, [c.1260]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Petrarca (Francesco). <i>Rerum vulrgarium fragmenta,</i> decorated manuscript on paper, Italy, [second half of the 15th century]. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> New York School of abstract expressionists.- Abbott (Mary Lee). [Sketch book of original artwork], [New York], 1945. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Contemporary colouring.- Nitzschewitz (Hermannus). <i>Novum beatae Mariaevirginis psalterium,</i> Zinna, Press of the Cistercian Monastery, 1493. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Shakespeare source book.- Montemayor (Jorge de). Diana of George of Montemayor: translated out of Spanish into English by Bartholomew Yong, first edition in English, B[ishop]., 1598. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Milton (John). Poems of Mr. John Milton, Both English and Latin, Compos'd at several times, first edition, state with "S" in "S. Pauls" in imprint, 1645. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Power and the Glory,</i> first edition, 1940. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Crowley (Aleister). View of the Tyrrhenian Sea, probably from the hill behind the abbey of Thelema, Cefalù, Sicily, charcoal, [1921]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, 1953. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> China.- Thomson (John). <i>Illustrations of China and Its People,</i> 4 vol., first edition, 96 photographic plates, 1873-74. £15,000 to £20,000.
  • <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Athanasius. <i>Illustrium Virorum Opuscula,</i> Paris, 1500. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> <i>The New Testament of Jesus Christ, Translated Faithfully into English,</i> Rheims, John Fogny, 1582. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Stith, William. <i>The First History of Virginia printed in America,</i> [Williamsburg, 1747]. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b><br>S. Bonaventure. <i>Commentarius in Secundum Librum Sententiarum Petri Lombardi,</i> Venice, 1477. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Juvenalis, Junii. <i>Satyrae,</i> with the commentary of Domitius Calderinus, Venice, 1475. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Horatius Flaccus, Quintus. <i>Opera.</i> Ed. with commentary of Christophorus Landinus, Florence, 1482. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Scotus, Duns. <i>Quaestiones in Quattuor Libros Sententiarum,</i> 1476-1477. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Polidori, John. <i>The Vampyre, A Tale,</i> Paris, 1819. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom's Cabin,</i> Vol. I and II, 1852, and a Later Edition, 1885. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Book of Hours, Illuminated Vellum, Calendar of Months, 15th century. $600 to $900.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> <i>Picturesque,</i> America, Europe, Palestine, and Russia, 1872-1885. $400 to $600.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions