Monday 2 May 2016


The World of Lewis Carroll exhibition & sale at Peter Harrington Books

150 year after its first publication, the wondrous Alice in Wonderland is still hugely popular with countless reprints in different formats, novels inspired by the true story of Alice Liddell, memorabilia for all ages, and even a recent exhibition at the British Library. And with a new Disney live action film to be released at the end of this month, the sale of a unique collection of Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) works by rare booksellers Peter Harrington in Mayfair couldn't be more timely. It includes rare items such as Carroll's own copy of the first published edition from 1866, and the only book (Rhyme? And Reason?) inscribed by Carroll to Alice in Wonderland illustrator John Tenniel.

Peter Harrington booksellers have done a stellar job showcasing the beautiful works on display in an almost chronological order from Alice in Wonderland right down to Nursery Alice and Carroll's other works that came after. Particular highlights in addition to those mentioned above are the original printed sheets of Alice in Wonderland in a beautiful case decorated with motives and gemstones (1866); a copy of the novel inscribed to Alice's sister in rare white binding (1877); copies from France, Italy and Russia; and an edition of Through the Looking Glass, annotated by Carroll throughout pointing out poor printing (1893).

This incredible collection is one that must be seen in person, and if you're a collector yourself (whether specifically of works around Alice in Wonderland, or of unique literary items in general) then this sale is one you must check out. While the most expensive piece is £57,500, prices start from £125 and so adding a special item to your own collection is doable even if you don't have the funds for the most exclusive book on display.

I took photos of some of the collection but as they were behind reflective glass (the books on display on the table are sold by Peter Harrington booksellers themselves and aren't part of the bigger collection that has been collected by an English bibliophile over the course of several decades) they don't do the quality of the works justice, so please do check them out in person while you can. When I spoke to the bookseller in the shop last Friday he mentioned that they would likely take the display down either this Friday (6 May) or the following Monday (9 May).

Peter Harrington is located on 43 Dover Street in Mayfair, London (near Green Park Station) and is open Monday-Friday 10am-7pm and Saturdays 10am-6pm. The World of Lewis Carroll exhibition & sale is open to the public and will be viewable until May 6 or 9.

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