Wonderland First Edition Set: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, Illustrated by Peter Newell, 1901-1902

Carroll, Lewis, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1901-1902. First Harper & Brothers edition, two volumes, illustrated by Peter Newell. Rebound in full white calf leather with brown cloth slipcases.

Presented is the Alice in Wonderland two volume set, made up of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Both books are first Harper & Brothers edition copies from 1901 and 1902 respectively.  The books were written by author Lewis Carroll and illustrated throughout by Peter Newell. 

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (January 1832-1898), better known by his pen name of Lewis Carroll, was an English author famous for his children’s books about the adventures of Alice in Wonderland. Carroll was an Oxford University scholar and teacher. He developed a strong relationship with Christ Church, Oxford, which heavily influenced his writing. Through his connections with the church, Carroll met the Dean of Christ Church Henry Liddell. Liddell’s daughter, Alice, is widely identified as the original inspiration for Alice in Wonderland.

Carroll’s tales about Alice are fantasy tales that play with logic and the peculiar, commonly known as examples of the literary nonsense genre. Carroll often drew parallels between the fictional characters and real people, which created a type of parody of Victorian life and society. The book was beloved by children and adults alike, with readers such as Queen Victoria and Oscar Wilde among Carroll’s fan base.

In 1865, the first run of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published. The entire print run sold out very quickly, but a problem with the print quality later resulted in the books being recalled. Thus, true first edition copies printed in 1865 are exceedingly rare. However, various later editions were published, often with unique and exquisite illustrations to accompany the text. This set from 1901-1902 is the first edition that was published with illustrations by established illustrator Peter Newell and was printed by Harper & Brothers.


Both books are beautifully rebound in full white calf leather binding with custom stamps on the front boards to emulate original bindings. The books feature gilt top edges, deckled edges, and marbled endpapers. The spines feature raised bands and gilt tooling. Books are in excellent condition for their age, with no significant staining visible on interior pages. Through the Looking-Glass features a facsimile signature from the illustrator. The books are separately housed in custom brown cloth slipcases with photos of the author on the sides.

Dimensions: 9 1/4" H x 6 5/8" W x 3 3/4" D

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