By Lewis Carroll.
Illustrated by Harry Furniss.
London: Macmillan and Co., 1889.
First Edition. This copy is inscribed by Lewis Carroll to James Telling, who was Butler of the Common Room at Christ Church for more than 30 years.
This long novel (published in two parts) was in Carroll’s mind a far more important work than even Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The first book was moderately well-received, perhaps partly in deference to the author, but overall sales were disappointing. The novel includes many clever ideas and jokes, and its shifting levels of reality and occasional stream of consciousness narration are often said to prefigure later innovators such as James Joyce. But in no way does Sylvie approach the brilliance of the Alice books.
Exhibit item 5.1