John Tenniel. Hard Cover. London: Macmillan and Co., 1932 & 1933. Fine.
Illustrated by John Tenniel. Two volumes bound as one. Finely bound in full blue polished calf by Riviere and Son (Bayntun), with five raised bands to the spine, contrasting red and maroon labels lettered in gilt to the spines, decorative gilt tooling to the spine compartments, illustrated characters in gilt to the front cover, all edges gilt, gilt turn-ins, blue marbled endpapers. Near fine, some fading to spine, covers lightly rubbed and scuffed. Overall, a beautiful and finely bound example. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wrote the nonsensical story Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, first published in 1866, under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll for Alice Liddell, who was a frequent subject of Dodgson's revolutionary portrait photography. It tells the story of a young girl who falls through a rabbit hole into a dream world filled with strange and interesting characters. Through the Looking Glass, first published by Macmillan in 1872, is the sequel to Alice and tells the story of Alice's venture into a fantasy world through the mirror above her fireplace. Just as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland relies on the imagery of playing cards, Through the Looking Glass is laden with chess imagery. Notably, Through the Looking Glass employs a mirror motif, with many backward-printed texts and scenarios that appear to be the reverse of scenes from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Both novels are illustrated by John Tenniel, with whom Carrol had a somewhat volatile relationship as a result of their mutual perfectionism. Indeed, the true first edition of Alice was suppressed because of unsatisfactory illustrations, and Through the Looking Glass's illustrations were heavily edited, with Carroll even replacing Tenniel's "Jabberwock" plate with an image of the White Knight, which was less frightening, as a frontispiece.