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Item 508 - Charles L. Dodgson Catalog 585 (Jun 2020)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Sold Price: $22,368.75 (includes buyer's premium)


Outstanding ALS signed “Charles L. Dodgson, alias 'Lewis Carroll',” four pages on two adjoining black-bordered sheets, 4.5 x 7, November 13, 1874. Written from Christ Church, Oxford, a letter to an Australian man whose children are enjoying Dodgson's books, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, in full: "I take much blame to myself for having left unacknowledged, for more than seven months, your letter & the accompanying copies of your little book 'Bertie,' & of the 'Adelaide Observer'—As to the story, I take it as a great compliment that you should have chosen 'Alice's Adventures' as a model for imitation, & am only sorry that your skill & your time should have been given to so humble a task, instead of taking, as I do not doubt you would succeed even better in, a line of your own. It is, I assure you, a source of real pleasure to me, who am a great lover of the race of children, to know that my little books are liked by so many, & in so many distant lands. They were inspired originally by an 'Alice,' now a grown woman, & I have given away many copies since to other 'Alices,' & to many who do not bear her name. It is too much to hope that you have an 'Alice' among your children, but if there is one of your daughters (whatever her name) who is still young enough to care for a presentation copy of 'Alice,' or of the 'Looking-glass,' it will give me much pleasure to send one. In that case, perhaps you will favour me with the names & ages of the children—both that I may form a more definite idea of my distant readers, & that I may judge what will be most acceptable: children sometimes like books best, when given to individuals & sometimes when given collectively, & I should be glad if you would suggest which would be preferred. Perhaps you can find one to whom 'Alice' would be acceptable, & another who would like a 'Looking-glass.' I sign my real name to this, but request that you will not publish it in print, as I prefer the other as a 'nom de plume.' In fine condition.

Unmistakably the most exceptional Dodgson letter we have come across—rife with content relative to his most cherished work, and boasting both his given name and ‘nom de plume,’ this brilliant letter was penned between the publication of his Alice sequel, Through the Looking Glass, and his adored nonsense poem, The Hunting of the Snark. Moreover, the mention of Alice Liddell Hargreaves, the basis for the character of Alice, whom Dodgson explains is “now a grown woman,” is of the utmost significance, as Dodgson letters in large rarely allude to his young muse, especially so in such great detail. An ideal example of Dodgson correspondence with multiple mentions of his most popular character.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.


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