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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; [together with:] Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Macmillan and Co., 1866 & 1872

Stock Code: 124743

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First published editions. The copies of the novelist Richard Adams, with his bookplate to the front free endpapers. Adams uses a quotation from Through the Looking Glass, alongside a quotation from Shakespeare, as the heading of the Epilogue to Watership Down: "He was part of my dream, of course - but then I was part of his dream, too." Adams drew parallels between his own and Carroll's works, due to his annoyance at the debate over the intended readership age of Watership Down. Adams stated that a work of fiction should be "first and foremost, a work of artistic integrity, by its subjects and merits appealing to readers of all ages, including children", going on to say that "the two 'Alice' books probably head the list here, with 'The Wind in the Willows' in honourably high place" (Adams, in Blishen, p. 163). Adams used the revenues from his highly successful novels to develop a substantial book collection, including many high spots of English literature.
For these copies, Adventures in Wonderland is the first published edition, the second overall: the book was originally printed in Oxford at the Clarendon Press in June 1865, but was suppressed when Dodgson heard that the book's illustrator was dissatisfied with the quality of the printing. He recalled the few pre-publication copies he had sent out to his friends and donated them to hospitals, where most perished. Only 23 of those original "1865 Alices" are now extant, mostly in institutional holdings, thus creating one of the most famous black tulips of book collecting. The book was entirely reset by Richard Clay for the present authorized Macmillan edition, the earliest edition that can be realistically obtained. Although dated 1866, the edition was in fact ready by November 1865, in time for the Christmas market, and was published in a print run of 4,000 copies. The copy of Through the Looking-Glass is the first edition; like its predecessor, it was published for the Christmas market and bears the following year's date in its imprint. It was actually published in December 1871, in an edition of 9,000 copies.

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2 works, octavo. Original red cloth, spines lettered in gilt, triple gilt fillets to covers with gilt vignette centrepieces, blue endpapers, gilt edges. Housed in a custom red half-morocco bookform box with red cloth sides, spine lettered in gilt.


Frontispieces and 90 illustrations by John Tenniel.


Adventures in Wonderland lightly rolled, spine darkened, loss at head of spine repaired with the "A" of "Alice" and part of first three letters of "Adventures" relettered, front hinge cracked, a little shaken, some light foxing to contents with a few page corners lightly creased, short closed tear at foot of p. 91. Through the Looking-Glass lightly rolled, extremities a little rubbed, a few markings to cloth, rear hinge split and front hinge starting, very minor foxing to initial and final leaves. Box a little rubbed. Overall a very good set.


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