The Acquisitions Table: The Hunting of the Snark

Carroll, Lewis. The Hunting of the Snark: an Agony in Eight Fits. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, late Ticknor & Fields, and Fields, Osgood & Co., 1876.
Best known as the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), Lewis Carroll – the pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematical lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford – also wrote this fantastical epic tale recounting the adventures of a bizarre troupe of nine tradesmen and a beaver. First published in London in 1876, this first American edition was reproduced that same year by photo-lithography in a smaller format by James R. Osgood in Boston. The paper-covered boards on this copy, while not the best condition, do immediately attract attention, as do the nine illustrations inside, all of which were done by Henry Holiday. A tenth illustration depicting the Snark was rejected by Carroll – he wanted the creature to remain unimaginable.

Published by

Elizabeth Watts Pope

Curator of Books, American Antiquarian Society

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