The Letters of Lewis Carroll
Loose India paper proof copy from the library of Professor Morton N Cohen
Proof copies printed on India paper, loose pages folded twice to form the substance of the book. Also includes a few page mock-ups where illustrations would be found in the final version. Comprises the text of both volumes. 1166pp.
Not signed as such but this copy comes from the London library of Professor Cohen. It is in a handwritten envelope addressed to Professor Cohen, with a small quantity of handwritten notes throughout where small edits have been made.
This set contains almost 1400 of Lewis Carroll's letters in an immense work of scholarship by Morton Cohen. The first volumes covers from c1837 to 1885, the second from 1886 to Carroll's death in 1898. They reveal Dodgson (Lewis Carroll's real name) in a fresh, clear light. As well as his involvement in mathematics and photography, he was caught up in the theatre, the art world and had a keen interest in science, medicine, technology, theology and college affairs. In the letters he discusses religious questions, political issues, the arrangements for staging Alice's Adventures in Wonderland on stage, his stammer, the Christ Church wine cellar etc etc. But by far the largest number of letters are those intended to puzzle or delight the many young girls whose friendship he ardently cultivated, and who meant so much to him. These letters to child friends are often gems from Wonderland, containing acrostics, word-puzzles, drawings, rebuses, miniature- and mirror-writing. No less interesting are the letters to the children's parents, arranging to "borrow" the children for tete-a-tete dinner parties, for photographic sittings (sometimes nude studies), and for outings. Both volumes contain facsimiles of letters and illustrations, and photographs of friends, many taken by Dodgson himself.
The thin India paper is in good order but creased throughout to the edges. The text is the correct order and is all present. There is some browning from glue residue to the page mock-ups. Occasional marginal annotation. A rare proof copy.
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