27th Sep, 2016 11:00

Books and Maps

Lot 25



[DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge]: CARROLL, Lewis:
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There,
Macmillan, 1877, 40th. Thousand (1st edn. later issue). Presentation copy inscribed by the author ‘Mary Forshall / from the Author / Dec. 3 1877.’ in about the College in a helpless sort of way... It's all your fault, and you ought to do something about it, you know you ought... (letters, volume I, p.301)

Provenance: Sotheby’s sale, 12 July, 2002 lot 656. (copy of receipt provided: £20,315.00 including premium) violet ink on half-title, wood-engraved illustrations after John Tenniel; specially bound for the author in pictorial white leatherette gilt, gilt edges, remnants of plain violet dust-jacket, minimal occasional browning, binding slightly soiled, dust-jacket soiled and frayed with loss. Plus: pinned to the front free endpaper is: An Easter Greeting to Every Child Who Loves ‘Alice.’ [Oxford: Parker, 1876], first edn., first issue, presentation copy inscribed by the author ‘For May / from Lewis Carroll. / Dec. 3. 1877.’ in violet ink on title-page. Plus: carte-de-visite photograph of Mary Forshall by Dodgson, numbered by him on the reverse ‘2485’ in violet ink. Writing in his diary for 27 November 1877 Dodgson notes: Dined with Sampson, to meet Dr Forshall with his sister, etc., and ‘May Forshall’, a nice child of 10. (Diaries, volume II, p.367). The following weekend, on 1 December 1877, Dodgson recorded in his diary that May Forshall ‘came to be photographed’ at 11am and was taken back at 1:30pm. On 3 December she was photographed again with Dodgson taking ‘5 negatives, of which 2 failed’. Later that month Dodgson presented this copy of Looking-Glass.

Presentation copies from Dodgson are rarely seen in special bindings. Describing the photo sessions in a letter to Agnes Hull, Dodgson refers to ‘a first-rate photograph’ that he took. For Christmas Dodgson sent May a madrigal (commencing ‘He shouts amain, he shouts again,’) and a year later May Forshall was part of a party that visited the Covent Garden pantomime on 30 December 1878. Frances Mary (‘May’) Forshall (1867-1937) was the daughter of the Highgate physician, Francis Hyde Forshall. Confusion over her names resulted in a charming letter from Dodgson, dated 4 February 1878: Which is your name, ‘Mary Frances’ or ‘Frances May’? When you were here, someone said it was ‘Mary Frances,’ and now you say it's ‘Frances May.’ The confusion is making me quite ill. I go wandering

Sold for £15,200

Condition Report



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Auction: Books and Maps, 27th Sep, 2016

26 September 2016 9.00am - 5.00pm
27 September 2016 from 9.00am

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