First American Edition of Lewis Carroll's Classic

    Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1866 [1865].

    First American edition (i.e., first edition, second issue), comprising pages from the 1865 Alice with a new title. Octavo. [12], 192 pages. With forty-two wood engravings and a wood-engraved frontispiece after illustrations by John Tenniel.

    Original publisher's full red cloth with gilt titles and decorations. Triple-filleted borders stamped in gilt. Pictorial centerpieces stamped in gilt (Alice on front board; the Cheshire cat's face on the rear). Spine lettered in gilt, with publisher's name at the foot of the spine. Navy endpapers, with the binder's diamond shaped, printed paper label affixed to lower inner corner of rear pastedown. Occasional light soiling throughout, primarily marginal. Half-title outer edges somewhat toned. Boards with slight soiling and corners slightly bumped, just exposing pasteboards. A 1.5 x 0.5 inch marginal tear to lower outer corner of p. 9/10; a closed one-inch tear to lower fore-edge of p. 101/102, just touching one letter of the text on each page. Final leaf expertly tipped in on a stub. Head and tail of spine expertly repaired. A 1.5 x 0.25 inch paper repair to top of title-page by a capable conservator; offsetting to the margin of the opposite page (the frontispiece) indicates that an ownership or bookseller's label may have been removed at an early date. Overall, a very good copy.

    A lovely copy of Carroll's most famous work, a classic of English literature, and one of the most important children's books ever written. Carroll published Alice in Wonderland in 1865 with London-based publisher Macmillan. However, illustrator John Tenniel was dissatisfied with the quality of the printing of the illustrations, and convinced the Carroll to suppress the book at his own expense. Less than two dozen of this scarce first issue survive, most of which are in institutional repositories. To cut his losses, and because Tenniel agreed that an American audience would find the illustrations passable, Carroll sold the remaining sheets to publisher D. Appleton in New York, where 1,000 new title pages were printed and tipped in.

    Williams, Madan, and Green 44. Lovett and Lovett 2. PMM 354 (1865 edition).

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