The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll - Lewis Carroll, [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], John Tenniel (illustrator) 1939 - The Nonesuch Press, London - First Nonesuch Edition An elegantly bound edition, containing: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Through the Looking-Glass; Sylvie and Bruno; The Hunting of the Snark; Early Verses; Puzzles from Wonderland; Prologues to Plays; Phantasmagoria; College Rhymes and Notes by an Oxford Chiel; Acrostics, Inscriptions and Other Verse; Three Sunsets and Other Poems; Stories and A Miscellany.

With an introduction by Alexander Woollcott, and Tenniel's original in-text illustrations to the Alice books.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass were intended for children “fresh from God’s hand”, it is equally enthralling and delightfully magical for adults as they follow Alice on her vibrant adventures escorted by her famous companions. Who can possibly not have been carried away into the fantastically crazy world of the Mad Hatter? Or never have heard of Tweedledee and Tweedledum? Who cannot have been struck by Carroll’s love for sophisticated play with words?.” - Stephanie Chan.
  “Duckworth and I made an expedition up the river to Godstow with the three Liddells: we had tea on the bank there…On which occasion, I told them the fairy-tale of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground…” recalls Lewis Carroll. And thus was born one of the greatest children’s classics of all time…

The story ultimately became
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There and was first published in London in 1866 The original manuscript that Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) presented to Alice Liddell – the inspiration behind perhaps the most famous and best-loved children’s fairytale – on 26th November 1864 now resides in the British Library, gifted to the nation after the war in 1948 by a group of Anglophile American book collectors.

Tenniel’s illustrations perfectly capture Alice’s upside-down world and are considered to be his finest and most enduring achievement. They were an integral part of creating Alice’s fairytale world and are without doubt some of the best-known images, indelibly etched into the memory of countless children. In
The Looking Glass, Tenniel gave Alice a hairband, now widely known as an ‘Alice band.’ Tenniel and Carroll quarrelled over the illustrations, most famously over the use of a model for Alice and the working relationship was further strained. Tenniel’s original drawings were reproduced by the Dalziel Brothers as woodcuts.’

(Written for Lok Man Rare Books by Stephanie Chan - October 2008)

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.

References: Williams, Madan, & Green,
The Lewis Carroll Handbook, 115. British Library. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Printing and the Mind of Man, 532. Bleiler; Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Book Collector No.271, 'The Great Illustrators'. 'Alice' listed in BBC's Big Read (200 Best Novels) [2003].

Thick octavo (binding size 20x13.4cm), pp. [2] xiv [2] 1165 [3].
  Handsomely bound in recent three-quarter crimson morocco over marbled boards, spine with raised bands with gilt ruling and lettering, top edge lightly tinted red.   Condition: Fine in fine binding   Ref: 110492   Price: HK$ 4,500