[DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge (1832-1898)] - LEWIS CARROLL
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ... with forty-two illustrations by John Tenniel
Boston: John Wilson and Son for Lee and Shepard, 149 Washington Street, 1869. Octavo. (7 3/16 x 5 inches). , 192pp. Half-title. Wood-engraved frontispiece and 41 vignette illustrations.
Original purple grained cloth, spine lettered in gilt, all edges gilt, dark brown endpapers, spine faded.
A fine copy in original purple cloth of the first edition printed in America of one of the greatest children's books of all time.
This is the first American edition of Dodgson's classic. The first edition was printed in an edition of 2,000 copies by the Clarendon Press in 1865, but the illustrator John Tenniel was unhappy with the quality of the printing of the illustrations and the whole edition was recalled, accounting for its great rarity. A second edition was then printed by a different printer with a title page dated 1866, and this became the first published edition in England. Concurrently, an offer was made from America to buy the sheets of the remaining copies of the first edition. Neither Dodgson nor Tenniel were concerned about the American distribution and agreed to the deal, sending enough sheets of the recalled first edition for 1,952 copies to be issued by Appleton's, with a substitute title dated New York, 1866. The copy here is often considered the first authorized edition printed in the United States. Alice's Adventures were "born on a golden afternoon" in July 1862, when the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll) entertained the three daughters of Dean Liddell of Christ Church on a boating trip up the Isis, telling the one, Alice Liddell, he would write the story down for her. "Alice 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).
Lewis Carroll at Texas 15; cf. Williams, Madan, Green & Crutch 44 & 45; cf. Livingston pp.12-13.