Sylvie and Bruno … London, Macmillan and Co. 1889. [With:] Sylvie and Bruno concluded … London, Macmillan and Co. 1893.

London, Macmillan and Co. 1880-1893.

2 vols., 8vo., pp. xxiii, [1 (blank)], 400, [4 (publisher’s advertisements and blank)]; and pp. xxxi, [1 (blank)], 423, [7 (1 blank, 1 leaf lettered ‘TURN OVER’, and publisher’s advertisements)]; wood-engraved frontispiece and 46 illustrations in the text in each volume after drawings by Harry Furniss; very good copies in the original red cloth, lettered and ruled in gilt, upper and lower boards with central gilt vignettes of Sylvie and Bruno respectively and, in Sylvie and Bruno concluded, of the Professor and the Chancellor; black endpapers (slight cracking to hinges), all edges gilt.


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First editions, presentation copies inscribed ‘Lizzie Wilcox from her affte Cousin the Author / Dec. 12. 1889’ and ‘Lizzie Wilcox, from her affectionate Cousin the Author / Dec. 27, 1893’ (two days before publication), a fine association:

Lewis Carroll composed ‘Jabberwocky’ (Through the Looking Glass, pp. 21-4) ‘while staying with his cousins, the Misses Wilcox, at Whitburn, near Sunderland. To while away an evening the whole party sat down to a game of verse-making, and “Jabberwocky” was his contribution.’ (Stuart Dodgson Collingwood, The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll, p. 143n.)

The Preface to Sylvie and Bruno reminds the reader that two chapters reprint ‘a little fairy-tale which I wrote in the year 1867, at the request of the late Mrs Gatty, for “Aunt Judy’s Magazine” .… It was in 1874, I believe, that the idea first occurred to me of making it the nucleus of a longer story. As the years went on, I jotted down, at odd moments, all sorts of odd ideas, and fragments of dialogue …. I am telling you all this … because I really believe that some of my readers will be interested in these details of the “genesis” of a book, which looks so simple and straight-forward.’ Also in the Preface Carroll praises Furniss for his ‘(to my mind) wonderful pictures.’

Williams, Madan, Green and Crutch 217 and 250.

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