(New York: Limited Editions Club, 1932). 229 x 152 mm. (9 x 6"). Two volumes. Wonderland with an introduction by Henry Seidel Canby; "Looking Glass" with an introduction by Carl Van Doren. EACH VOLUME ONE OF 1,500 COPIES SIGNED BY ALICE HARGREAVES, "the original Alice."
Publisher's elaborately gilt red morocco (for "Wonderland") and matching blue calf (for "Looking Glass"), both bindings designed by Frederic Warde, each with publisher's (somewhat sunned) slipcase that repeats the spine decoration from the volume. With 94 original illustrations by John Tenniel, the 43 illustrations for "Wonderland" re-engraved on wood by Bruno Rollitz, the 51 illustrations in "Looking Glass" re-engraved by Frederic Warde. Front pastedown with engraved bookplate of Charles Edward Willock, Jr. Wonderland: Quarto-Millenary 36; Newman & Wiche 36a. "Looking Glass": Quarto-Millenary 65; Newman & Wiche 65a. Extremities a little rubbed, "Looking Glass" with very slight chip across head of spine, otherwise A FINE SET, clean, fresh, and bright internally in very well-preserved bindings.
These attractively-produced private press copies of two of the best-loved works of children's literature represent the only editions to be signed by the girl for whom they were written, Alice Liddell Hargreaves (1852-1934), daughter of the dean of Christ Church, Oxford, where Charles Dodgson was a lecturer in mathematics. Dodgson became a close family friend, making up stories for the children. According to DNB, it was on a picnic on 4 July 1862 that "he invented the story of Alice in Wonderland." Over the years, Alice steadfastly refused requests to sign copies of the works, but, late in her life, and prompted by a significant monetary inducement ($1.50 per signature), she was prevailed upon to sign some volumes from the present editions; about 1,200 copies of "Wonderland" and 500 of "Looking Glass" were signed. Our volume owes its appeal in large measure to the taste and skill of typographer and designer Frederic Warde (1894-1939), who began his career as a printer with the house of William Edwin Rudge, supervised the legendary Officina Bodoni, and later did work for several American private presses. (CMH1821)