Extensively annotated, it was a marked-up copy of the 1893, third edition that Charles Dodgson considered to be so badly printed that he demanded his publishers should recall those copies already dispatched and start again.
Though it is not so recorded in the auction records that I regularly consult, a reader kindly pointed out that it was a copy that had made that very same sum when offered in 2005 at Christie’s South Kensington. This was quickly confirmed by my file copy of the catalogue issued for the sale of the Nicholas Falletta collection of Lewis Carroll books and manuscripts.
I was also alerted to the fact that before it entered the collection from which it was sold this summer, it had been with a well-known UK dealer – priced at a considerably higher sum.
On July 11, at Christie’s (25/20/12.5%), a copy of the 1866 second (first published) edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland sold at £24,000.
It was one that Dodgson inscribed for one of his favourite young photographic models, Ella Monier-Williams – the daughter of an Oxford colleague.
In a later Bayntun-Riviere binding of full red morocco, and a copy that had remained with Ella’s descendants ever since, it contained three letters from Dodgson. Two of them were addressed to Ella, one signed “yours electrically and affectionately”.