The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits.

“It’s a Snark! was the sound that first came to their ears, And seemed almost too good to be true": Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark; in the scarce original dust jacket, of which only a few are known to exist

The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits.

CARROLL, Lewis. [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson].


Item Number: 130492

London: Macmillan and Co., 1876.

First edition of Carroll’s whimsical nonsense poem. Octavo, original publisher’s decorated cloth, all edges gilt, with nine illustrations by Henry Holiday. Near fine in the scarce original dust jacket. The jacket is complete with the top third of the front panel bent behind, hence the different shade of color. Copies of the first edition of Hunting of the Snark in the dust jacket of the utmost scarcity, with no more than a handful of copies known.

Written between 1874 and1876, The Hunting of the Snark borrows the setting, some creatures, and eight portmanteau words from Carroll's earlier poem "Jabberwocky" in his children's novel Through the Looking-Glass (1871). The plot follows a crew of ten trying to hunt the Snark, which may turn out to be a highly dangerous Boojum. The only one of the crew to find the Snark quickly vanishes, leading the narrator to explain that it was a Boojum after all. Carroll often denied knowing the meaning behind the poem; however, in an 1896 reply to one letter, he agreed with one interpretation of the poem as an allegory for the search for happiness. Henry Holiday, the illustrator of the poem, considered the poem a "tragedy".

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