Tenniel, John. Hard Cover. London: Macmillan & Co., 1872. First Edition. Very Good.
Illustrated by John Tenniel. First edition, first printing, with "wade" instead of "wabe" on p. 21. Finely bound in red morocco to match the original cloth, with five raised bands to spine, lettered in gilt and stamped with illustration of the red queen in a triple-ruled circle to front board and the white queen to rear board, red and black marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. A very good copy with contemporary ownership signature to half-title, small tissue repair to bottom corner of page 95/95, some light toning and scattered soiling to pages, else very clean and bright, in an attractive full leather binding designed to imitate the original cloth decorations. Through the Looking Glass is Lewis Carroll's sequel to his popular children's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865). In this story, which represents the child protagonist's journey from adolescence to adulthood, Alice ventures into a fantasy world through the mirror above her fireplace. Just as Alice relies on the imagery of playing cards, Through the Looking Glass is laden with chess imagery; Alice steps into the fantasy world as a white pawn on a giant chess board. While making her way to be crowned queen, she runs into many of Carroll's beloved characters, including Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Walrus and the Carpenter, and the Red Queen. Additionally, this text employs a mirror motif, with many backward-printed texts and scenarios that appear to be the reverse of scenes from Alice. Throughout the novel, Carroll includes nonsense poetry, including the playful "Jabberwocky." Like Alice, Through the Looking Glass is illustrated by John Tenniel. Carroll originally intended to write this sequel as early as 1866, but had trouble persuading Tenniel to illustrate it. Writer and artist had a somewhat volatile relationship as a result of their mutual perfectionism: just as the true first edition of Alice was suppressed because of unsatisfactory illustrations, Through the Looking Glass's illustrations were heavily edited. Tenniel demanded the removal of a character that was too difficult to illustrate, whereas Carroll replaced Tenniel's "Jabberwock" plate with an image of the White Knight, which was less frightening, as a frontispiece.