MacMillan and Co. London. 1893.
The rare suppressed Sixtieth Thousand issue. 8vo. (7.5 x 5.3 inches). xii, 224, 4pp adverts at end. Illustrated with fifty engravings by John Tenniel. Previous owners neat name, written in pencil, on the half title page. A Very good, clean and bright copy throughout. Publishers original red cloth with gilt lettering, decoration and ruling to the spine. Triple gilt ruled borders on boards which each have a circular illustration, of the Red and the White Queens, within triple lined frames, all in gilt. Matt black coated endpapers. Some cracking to the inner hinges but both still holding well. All edges gilt. The boards are just a bit rubbed & bumped to the edges but the cloth and the gilt are still bright. The spine has a hint of a lean and is showing minor darkening and bumping and there is a feint small mark to the rear board where a label has been removed but overall this is a very good copy of this infamous rarity. ------------ Due to the poor quality of the reproduction of Tenniel's engravings in this printing, all issued copies were re-called. Carroll noted in his diary on November 21st, 1893, upon receiving six copies from Macmillan, 'I found the pictures so badly printed that the books are not worth anything. Of the fifty pictures, 26 are over printed, 8 of them being very bad'. He sent orders for the remain of the print run to be destroyed, but relented and in early 1894 allowed the remaining copies to be given away to hospitals, village reading-rooms, and other charitable institutions, with a rubber stamped note to that effect on the title page. These were bound in a cheaper version of the binding with the same tooling but the borders and roundels stamped in blind, rather than the gilt that was originally planned, plain white endpapers and speckled page edges, rather than gilt. Macmillan issued an advertisement in December 1893 asking that copies of the poorly printed edition be returned and a newly printed copy would be given in exchange. As only 60 copies from the 1,000 print run were sent out before recall, and some were certainly returned for an exchange and had the presentation notice stamped to the title pages, very few copies in the original binding are in existence and the number unstamped, such as this copy, is unknown. Renowned Carroll expert and one time chair of the Lewis Carroll Society Selwyn Goodacre managed to locate 5 such copies. Only two copies show up in the book auction records, one of these Carroll's own annotated copy. ----- Ref: Selwyn H. Goodacre - "Lewis Carroll's Rejection of the 60th Thousand of Through the Looking Glass"; The Book Collector. Summer issue 1975, p251-256. -- Williams, Madan, and Green.