Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


CARROLL, Lewis. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. With Forty-Two Illustrations by John Tenniel. New York: D. Appleton, 1866. Octavo, period-style full red morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.

Very rare first American edition of Lewis Carroll’s brilliant and beloved topsy-turvy fantasy—virtually the earliest obtainable edition, preceding the first published London edition, beautifully bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe.

Carroll's classic romp through the realm of nonsense "'is, in a word, a book of that extremely rare kind which will belong to all the generations to come until the language becomes obsolete'" (Carpenter & Prichard, 102). "The book's droll illustrations, exuberant fun and lunacy combined with logic captivated children, and this revolutionary fantasy achieved immediate and enduring success… Carroll recognized the child's inner fears, wishes, intelligence and imagination. He unleashed thousands of children's minds and imaginations and invited them to laugh" (Silvey, 123-24). The book's publishing history "has a fairy-tale quality all its own. The Clarendon Press, Oxford, printed 2000 copies of what has come to be known as the first edition of the book. On 24 May 1865 Carroll wrote to his publisher… requesting 50 copies to give to friends. On 19 July, however, he heard from John Tenniel, his illustrator, that he was 'dissatisfied with the printing of the pictures.' On 2 August Carroll finally decided on the re-print of Alice, and he immediately set about recalling all the copies that he had sent out earlier, promising replacements as soon as the new printing was available. The remainder of the original books were sold to Appleton, the New York publisher, and they would appear, with a new title-page, as the first American edition." Only about 20 copies with the original London title page exist, making it virtually unobtainable (Cohen, 113-14). Title page with "b" directly above the "T" in "Tenniel" (no priority established). Preliminary leaves in variant state A, with "Alice! A childish…" on leaf [b1r] and "rabbit hole" unhyphenated in the Table of Contents (leaf [b2r]) (no priority established). Lewis Carroll Handbook 44. Muir, 139. Lewis Carroll at Texas 2.

A lovely copy in fine condition. Rare.

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