The First Published Edition of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," in the Original Cloth
An Exceptional Example, Untouched
CARROLL, Lewis. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. With Forty-Two Illustrations by John Tenniel. London: Macmillan and Co., 1866 [i.e., November 1865].
Second (first published) edition. Small octavo. , 192 pp. Wood-engraved text illustrations.
Original red cloth. Covers with gilt triple fillet border and central gilt vignette within three circular lines of Alice holding the pig on the front and the Cheshire Cat on the back. Spine lettered in gilt with gilt ornament and three gilt lines at head and foot. All edges gilt. Dark blue/green coated endpapers. Binder's ticket on rear pastedown: "Bound by Burn. 37 & 38 Kirby St." An exceptional example. Chemised in a quarter dark blue morocco over blue cloth slipcase. Copies like this are very rare indeed.
"The first edition, familiarly known to book-collectors as Ďthe 1865 Alice', was printed at the Oxford University Press. This edition was at the last moment cancelled by the author, for whom Macmillan's were publishing Ďon commission' (i.e. as agent, not sponsors) because of what was considered the poor printing of Sir John Tenniel's almost equally famous illustrations. The few early copies sent out were recalled; seemingly with fair success, since less than a score are known to survive today. The book was then reprinted, by Clay, with the title-page re-dated 1866, and this constitutes the first regularly published edition. Dodgson thriftily sold 500 copies of the suppressed 1865 printing for publication, with suitably altered title-page, by Appleton's of New York in 1866" (Printing and the Mind of Man).
"Though dated 1866, this edition was actually published in time for Christmas 1865" (Lovett and Lovett) and therefore preceded the publication of Appleton's New York edition by six months.
A few very small marks and stains to cloth, some very light rubbing to extremities, with a few very tiny (less than 1/8 inch) splits at head and foot of spine. However, there are no repairs, the gilt is bright, and the hinges are perfectly sound. Some occasional foxing and soiling, but far less than is usually seen. There is some very faint waterstaining in the upper margin of the last few gatherings and a tiny tear in lower margin of U1 (pp. 145/146).
Lovett and Lovett 3. Printing and the Mind of Man 354 (the 1865 first issue). Williams, Madan, and Green 46.
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