Feeding the Mind ... With a Prefatory Note by William H. Draper.

London, Billing and Sons, Ltd for Chatto and Windus, 1907.

8vo in 4s (181 x 112mm), pp. [i]-xiii, [1 (blank)], 15-[31], [1 (blank)]; title printed in red and black; a few light spots; original red cloth backed wrappers, upper wrapper lettered in red and black and with decorative border; minimally rubbed at extremities, otherwise a very good copy in the original wrappers.


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First edition in book form, wrappers issue. ‘A short paper or lecture delivered in Oct. 1884 in the Derbyshire vicarage of Alfreton before a public audience. It is a comparison of feeding the mind with feeding the body in such points as proper food at proper intervals (a “fat mind”), mastication by thinking over what is read, and mental appetite, all pervaded with quiet humour. Mr. Draper explains that the MS. Was handed to him by the author, and occasionally read out at Christmas time to friends’ (Williams, Madan, Green, and Crutch). Typical of Carroll’s admonitions is this: ‘Mental gluttony, or over-reading, is a dangerous propensity, tending to weakness of digestive power, and in some cases to loss of appetite: we know that bread is a good and wholesome food, but who would like to try the experiment of eating two or three loaves at a sitting?’ (p. 20).

The text was first published in the May 1906 issue of Harper’s Monthly Magazine in New York, before being published in book form in 1907 in wrappers at 1s (as here) and in limp gilt leather covers at 2s.

Williams, Madan, Green, and Crutch 291.

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