Tuesday, July 30, 2013

'What is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?" — Lewis Carroll

FroM: Collectors Quest

"In 1865, Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson—better known by his nom de plume, Lewis Carroll—delighted readers with the topsy-turvy world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. A first edition of this fantastical classic, one of 23 surviving copies, sits on the Newberry shelves. Why is this particular edition so rare? Because, and much to its illustrator’s chagrin, it is littered with unintended content. It contains 42 off-color drawings by Sir John Tenniel. Nearly 2,000 copies of the novel had been printed, and about 50 had been bound, when Tenniel objected to the quality of images. He instructed the publisher—Macmillan, working out of the Oxford University Press—to destroy the substandard copies.  
     Instead, they sold the prints to a U.S. publisher, Appleton, who bound and placed them in American bookshops."
The Newberry Library Read more…

"Book aficionados are familiar with the recalled first printing of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which occurred in 1865. Records state that after 2000 copies were printed by Macmillan at the Oxford University Press in the UK, illustrator John Tenniel decided that he was unhappy with how his drawings were reproduced, and all of these were recalled. While no one is certain how many copies actually made it out into the world, the number is generally believed to be in the single digits. So, despite what is regarded as inferior printing quality, this first 1865 edition ‘Alice’ has some fairly gargantuan asking prices. This copy on AbeBooks has an asking price that looks like someone just repeatedly punched the keyboard or asked their kid for the biggest number they could think of : $173,589.63.
     Keep in mind that this is for a copy with a torn page, stains and a loose spine."
— Colin David, Collectors Quest
Read more…

1 comment: