The Letters of Lewis Carroll
Two volumes, from Morton Cohen's own collection with a handwritten letter to him from historian Eric MKitrick
First edition, first printing, hardbacks in dustwrapper. Two volumes, complete. 24 × 16cm, xxxviii, 1245pp.
Not signed as such but these books come from the author's own collection and loosely inserted in volume one is a handwritten letter to Morton Cohen from Eric McKitrick, the American historian, then at Columbia University.
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.
Both books are in very good condition, with only very minor wear to the wrappers. Volume two has there crease to the wrapper by the rear joint. A heavy set at over 2 kgs.