Through the Looking-Glass
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PRESENTATION FIRST EDITON, FIRST ISSUE OF THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS, INSCRIBED BY CARROLL TO A YOUNG GIRL ON CHRISTMAS IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION
CARROLL, Lewis. Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. London: Macmillan, 1872. Small octavo, modern full red morocco with pictorial gilt designed after the original cloth, spine gilt-decorated with characters from the book, raised bands, all edges gilt.
Rare presentation first edition, first issue of Carroll’s second Alice volume, inscribed by the author on the half-title, “Beatrice Wallich, from the Author, Christmas 1871”—one of only 101 presentation copies inscribed by him at the time of publication, and one of only 83 known to exist—handsome in pictorial morocco-gilt after the original cloth (bound in).
Readers young and old eagerly anticipated Caroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1866)—15,500 copies were sold prior to publication. Through the Looking-Glass “equals its predecessor in the brilliance of its nonsense, and features many characters who quickly became immortals of children’s literature… the Red Queen, the White Queen, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, and the White Knight” (Carpenter & Prichard, 527). With 50 woodcut illustrations and frontispiece by John Tenniel. First issue, with misprint “wade” on page 21. Carroll inscribed only 101 copies of this book at the time of publication (December 1871). According to noted Carroll expert Edward Wakeling, only 83 of these copies are known to exist, of which Beatrice Wallich’s is one. Beatrice was the third daughter of noted naturalist Dr. George Wallich, to whom Carroll was introduced in 1866 by George MacDonald (author of At the Back of the North Wind and other landmark children’s fantasies) and with whom Carroll shared an interest in photography. During the 1870s and 1880s, Wallich “became an accomplished photographer, publishing privately a volume of excellent portraits of contemporary scientists” (DNB); in diary entries for April 12, 1866 and April 7, 1868, Carroll mentions having his own portrait taken by Wallich. He had, in December 1871, presented an inscribed copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Beatrice’s sister, Alice Mary; the author often gave different books to siblings, that the volumes might be shared with the whole family.
Only a bit of scattered light foxing. A beautiful copy in fine condition, most desirable with Carroll’s presentation inscription, contemporaneous with publication.