(New York: Limited Editions Club, 1932). 229 x 152 mm. (9 x 6"). Two volumes. Alice with an introduction by Henry Seidel Canby; "Looking-Glass" with an introduction by Carl Van Doren. One of 1,500 copies, both volumes SIGNED BY ALICE HARGREAVES, "the original Alice."
Publisher's elaborately gilt red morocco (for "Alice") and matching blue calf (for "Looking-Glass"), the latter imperfectly rebacked with blue cloth and original backstrip remnants; both bindings designed by Frederic Warde. "Alice" with publisher's (somewhat sunned) slipcase that repeats the spine decoration from the volume, "Looking-Glass" in a later plain red cloth slipcase (rather than the original publisher's version). Both housed, with miniature described below, in a modern burgundy slipcase. With 94 original illustrations by John Tenniel, the 43 illustrations for "Alice" re-engraved on wood by Bruno Rollitz and the 51 illustrations in Looking-Glass" re-engraved by Frederic Warde. Front pastedown to each volume with bookplate of Lester Douglas. Included is an oval wood-framed portrait in color on vellum purported to be of Alice Liddell on her 16th birthday by Sir Wm. Blake Richmond. Alice: Quarto-Millenary 36; Newman & Wiche 36a. "Looking-Glass": Quarto-Millenary 65; Newman & Wiche 65a. Alice with two-inch split to head of front joint (no looseness) and small chip to head of spine, front joint of "Looking-Glass" cracked but hinge still holding, both volumes with a bit of rubbing to extremities, but quite nice copies internally, clean and bright throughout.
The Limited Edition Club's printing 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. Our copies are especially desirable because both volumes were signed by Alice Liddell Hargreaves (1852-1934), the daughter of Henry Liddell, dean of Christ Church, Oxford, where Charles Dodgson was a lecturer in mathematics. Dodgson, whose hobby was photography, frequently photographed Alice and her sisters and became a close family friend, playing games with, and 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. The real Alice was then aged ten and pleaded with him to write Alice's adventures down for her, which he carefully did, supplying his own illustrations, in a green notebook that has become one of the most cherished literary manuscripts in the British Library." Over the years, Alice steadfastly refused requests to sign copies of other editions of the two works. But, late in her life, and prompted by a significant monetary inducement ($1.50 per signature), she was prevailed upon to sign volumes from both of the present editions. She did not, in fact, sign all of the copies of these printings (subscribers not willing to pay a surcharge did not get an autographed copy). "Quarto-Millenary" estimates that Hargreaves signed about 1,200 copies of "Wonderland," and Newman & Wiches says that only about 500 of "Looking-Glass" were signed. Our copy’s prior owner, Lester Douglas (1894-1961), was a leading American book designer and an authority on typography. Books designed by him include the Limited Edition Club's versions of "The Travels of Marco Polo" and "An Almanac for Moderns," his edition of the "Four Gospels" designed in collaboration with Judd & Detweiler, and his illustrated edition of "Ecclesiastes," which was selected as one of "Fifty Books of 1958" by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Our price, adjusted downward in comparison with other copies as a reflection of condition issues, is intended to be especially modest. (ST12683-005g)
Add to Cart Price: $2,500.00
PJP Catalog: FinePress.023