09 January 2007

Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Lewis Carroll. ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND.Macmillan, London 1865 & 1866

Current Selling Prices
£4000 - £12000 / $7500 - $22000

The most wanted book of all. The true first (suppressed) is now very rare although a few got out and it can potentially show up. (In your dreams.) Carroll disliked the edition published in 1865 so much that he had almost all of them recalled and sent to the United States where the title pages were removed and new American ones inserted. His annoyance was with the typography and general appearance of the book.[Want Level, Highest 200+]

VALUE? In 1980 an inscribed one turned up at a provincial auction in France where it made 220.000 francs about $50,000 at the time, which seems like a bit of a steal and probably couldn't happen anymore with the ubiquity of the net. A copy was on sale in NY around 2001 at a cool million dollars. Nice copies of the 1866 can get as much as $10000 to $20000. A lot less for unhandsome copies. As a much loved book early editions often show up in execrable condition and it is not unknown for several poorish copies to be cobbled together to make one acceptable copy. The defective ones are known as 'hospital copies.' Caveat emptor etc., The 1865 edition that sold for $1.5 million in 1998 was larded with drawings by Tenniel and annotated by Carroll - it was the most expensive children's book ever sold. Many people who want the book are looking for 19th century editions, special illustrated editions (Peake, Dali, Steadman) the LEC edition signed by the original Alice in old age, parodies etc., Shabby reprints (early editions) from the 1880s and 1870s show up on ebay and sometimes make , to my mind, silly money...but it is one of those books that defy reason.

Parodies, sequels, prequels, tributes and curious books on the Alice theme aboud. Here are some titles:

Alice in Acidland
Alice in Bibleland
Alice in Blunderland
Alice in Brown Sugarland
Alice in England
Alice in Genderland
Alice in Holidayland
Alice in Jungleland
Alice in Justiceland
Alice in La-La Land
Alice in Madland
Alice in Motorland
Alice in Municipaland
Alice in Northumberland
Alice in Ochestralia
Alice in Puzzleland
Alice in Radioland
Alice in Rankbustland
Alice in Virusland
Alice in Westerland
Alice in Womanland
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