Last year I blogged about our copy of Lewis Carrol’s Rhyme? And Reason? (1883), here:
I have since found two issues of the first edition of Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark (1876) in the Wetmore collection, with different bindings–decorated buff boards from Wetmore’s collection, and red cloth from the collection of long-time Rhode Island senator Theodore Francis Green.
The Lewis Carroll Handbook is the standard bibliography for C. L. Dodgson, which was initially compiled by Sidney Williams and Falconer Madan, revised and augmented by Roger Lancelyn Green, and further revised by Denis Crutch.
The Hunting of the Snark is item 115 in the 1979 edition published by Archon Books, from which I quote:
“The first line (which is the last of the poem–‘For the Snark was a Boojum, you see!’) came into Dodgson’s head as he was out walking at Guilford on 18 July 1874, and the rest of the stanza four days later. He ‘completed’ the poem in 88 stanzas on 6 November 1875, and intended to publish it that Christmas, with a frontispiece only. Earlier still it was meant simply to be one of the poems in Sylvie and Bruno . Dodgson continued to add to the poem until 19 January 1876, by which time it consisted of the present 141 stanzas–the last stanza, written that day, being that beginning ‘In the matter of Treason.'”
“The original edition was reprinted eighteen times between 1876 and 1910, the last impression being in the 25th thousand. The regular casing of the earliest impressions was the pictorial buff cloth . . . [which was] replaced in the 17th thousand (1876) by a red cloth in the Alice style.”
T. F. Green’s copy states “18th Thousand” on the title-page. Wetmore’s copy appears to be a first edition, first printing.
The rest of the description is full and scholarly–this is why bibliographies are so vital!