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Rhyme? And Reason?

Availability: In stock

Published: London Macmillan and Co., 1883

Stock Code: 108891

OR On display in Exhibit


First edition. Presentation copy in the deluxe binding, inscribed by the author to Joanna de Morlot Pollock on the half-title, with a six line acrostic poem that spells "Joanna": "Joa Pollack from the Author: in memory of an Awful Afternoon.
Joy was what we hoped to meet,
On that dreary day;
And we sought her in the street -
Never resting weary feet -
Numb with pain, & faint with heat -
And she flew away! July 4, 1884."

Joanna de Morlot Pollock (1862-1949) was the stepdaughter of Dodgson's cousin Amy Menella Dodgson (1842-1922). Joanna was born to Sir Charles Edward Pollock (1823-1897), a High Court judge and last baron of the Court of Exchequer, and his second wife Georgina (1838-1864). Amy became Charles's third wife, marrying him on 23 December 1866. Dodgson attended their wedding and kept in touch with the family, occasionally dining at their home in Putney and inviting Charles Pollock to call when he visited Oxford to oversee the local assizes. Dodgson records in his diary that on 24 June 1866 he visited the family and "saw the pretty little Joanna". A subsequent visit in July 1872 found that "Joa has grown out of all recollection". This book, inscribed seven months after publication, is in a special white binding, Dodgson's preferred colour for presentation. Accompanying it is an undated three-page autograph letter signed from Dodgson to Joanna, laid down to the front pastedown. Dodgson teases her about her greying hair and writes, "I had fancied you were hardly more than 35. How deceptive appearances are!" In closing he asks, "I'm not quite clear that I like your calling me 'Mr Dodgson'. Would not 'Cousin Charles' be more friendly?"

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Original white paper stamped in imitation of morocco, title to spine in gilt, triple gilt rules to covers, gilt roundels to covers with "Alice" motifs, edges gilt, dark green coated endpapers.


Frontispiece with tissue-guard, illustrated in the text throughout, 24 full-page.


Very skilfully, almost imperceptibly rebacked, corners worn, some marks to covers, front hinge split but holding, rear hinge starting, some light foxing to first few pages, very good.


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