CARROLL, LEWIS [=REV. C. L. DODGSON] The Hunting of the Snark
. London: MacMillan, 1876. First edition with an autograph letter and a drawing from Carroll to illustrator Henry Holiday bound in. In a worn morocco binding by Dervois with a bell motif to the upper cover and a decorative gilt border repeating the design of the cloth, the original cloth covers bound in. 7 1/8 x 4 1/2 inches (18.5 x 12.3 cm); 83 pp., publisher's ads, with 9 full-page illustrations by Henry Holiday. The binding worn, with the front cover and spine detached, the spine present in fragments, an irrelevant note in French tipped-in before title and an 1888 note laid in describing the illness of a young girl.
In the rear of this volume is a four-page letter from Carroll (without the signature leaf) written in his characteristic purple ink to Henry Holiday dated January 4th, 1876. The letter regards Holiday's submission of illustrations for the work about which Carroll is pleased. Carroll writes "you seem to increase in powers of comic drawing at an alarming rate". But Carroll's tone quickly turns to criticism of Holiday's drawings, "Now comes the bitter part of my letter - I am going to begin to find fault ... the beaver sprawls out its hind-legs in what looks to me an awkward and ungraceful way; the worst instance is in the "Lesson" - could it not arrange itself a little more neatly ... Something like this, for instance?" (and Carroll has provided a small drawing of the beaver). Holiday has responded to Carroll's points in pencil in the lower margin noting that in fact the Hunting of the Snark is a tragedy rather than a comedy. Also bound into the text is a drawing in Carroll's hand depicting the "The Barrister's Dream." Drawings by Carroll pertaining to his books are scarce and we find no other examples relating to this title in the auction record.
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