Sylvie and Bruno - Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] 1889 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Edition A lovely copy of ‘Sylvie and Bruno’, with forty-six drawings by the inimitable Irish illustrator Harry Furniss, one of the most talented black and white artists of his time.

It was one of the last fictional novels that Carroll wrote before shifting his focus to poetry and verse, and revolves around the story of two young adventures, Sylvie and Bruno, as they discover magical railway-lines, enchanted lockets, while dastardly foe awaits them from afar...
  Lewis Carroll is the pseudonym of mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), which he adopted when publishing his famous children’s novels and nonsense verse. The son of a Cheshire parson, Dodgson grew up in a large family which enjoyed composing magazines and putting on plays. In 1851, he went to Christ Church, Oxford. By 1855, he was a fellow (which necessitated celibacy), lecturing in mathematics. He occupied a tower in the college for the rest of his life. He wrote many books on mathematics and logic, and enjoyed inventing puzzles and games and playing croquet.

His love of paradox and nonsense and his fondness for small children led to the writing of
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), a story which he began while rowing Lorina, Alice, and Edith, the three small daughters of the College Dean H G Liddell, up the Thames for a picnic near Binsey. A sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, appeared in 1871. Interviewed when she was old, Alice remembered him as tall and slender, with blue/grey eyes, longish hair, and ‘carrying himself upright, almost more than upright, as if he had swallowed a poker’. He published Phantasmagoria and Other Poems in 1869, The Hunting of the Snark in 1876 and Sylvie and Bruno in 1889.

Dodgson wrote and received ‘
wheelbarrows full’ of letters (a letter register he started in his late 20s and kept for the rest of his life records more than 98,000 sent and received). Many of these were on religious and political issues while others were full of light-hearted nonsense. He excelled in artfully staged photographs, many of children in costumes and others of friends, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Holman Hunt and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. He died, aged 65, of pneumonia.

Harry Furniss (1854-1925) was an Irish artist, caricaturist and author, born in Wexford. ‘There is little doubt that Furniss was one of the most talented black and white artists of his time... a master of political caricature, of the silhouette caricature and of the inspired doodle, however, he was notoriously argumentative and egotistical, as is shown by obsessive use of self portraits and his famous break with Punch in 1894.’

Provenance: Provenance: Sir Mervyn Lloyd Peel K.B.E. (1856-1929) of Danvrallt, Carmarthenshire, with his armourial bookplate, and ink signature dated 1890.

References: British Library. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Houfe, The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914, 311.

Octavo (19 x 13.5 cm). pp. [2] xxiii [1] 400 [3 publisher’s advertisements] [1]. In publisher’s red cloth, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, triple gilt fillet borders enclosing a gilt vignette to front and rear boards, black coated endpapers, all edges gilt.
  Condition: Very good, gilt bright, sunning to spine, light foxing to tissue guard of frontispiece, affecting title and frontis.   Ref: 108590   Price: HK$ 1,500