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    Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll refers to Nursery Alice in this playful letter

    Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) Autograph Letter Signed "C. L. Dodgson". Two pages (front and back), 7" x 4.25", September 3, 1894, Eastbourne [Sussex, England]. In this letter, Lewis Carroll offers Mrs. Martin-Harvey an apology and a copy of Nursery Alice. In part: "After you had left the house, I bethought me that I wished I had said 'If you call again, & would like to bring Miss Amy Coleridge with you, please do so.' So I wrote it, & took the note to the theatre on Sunday; but it was all shut up. If you had called, I had a nice little apology all ready for you, for the brutal candour with which I told you I didn't care for children of 3! May I make amends for my rudeness by sending her the 'Nursery Alice'? (It has twenty coloured pictures, & text adapted to children.) You can show her the pictures, & perhaps read her the text, if you think her old enough to care for it."

    English author Lewis Carroll, the pen name for Charles Dodgson(1832-1898), published Alice in Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) in 1865; he later adapted a young children's version of the story called Nursery Alice, first published by Macmillan Publishers Ltd. with twenty illustrations from the original book.

    Mrs. Martin-Harvey was actress Angelita Helena Maria de Silva Ferro (1865-1949). She married actor Sir John Martin-Harvey in 1889, keeping the stage name Miss N. de Silva. She had met Carroll in 1874, when, as a child, she was rescued from an angry mob by Carroll. Carroll next saw her after many years with her husband in Eastbourne following one of their performances during the summer of 1894. This letter is a follow-up to their meeting. In a postscript, Carroll writes that he went to visit the couple at "Tower Cottage, Winchester" but "there was nobody at home!" Carroll closes by quoting Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, In Memoriam: "all the magic light Died out at once from bower & hall." "Miss Amy Coleridge" was also an actress; she appeared on Broadway in 1902. One central fold; lightly soiled. Bold, clear writing; fine.


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
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