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Down The Rabbit Hole... Chapter 1

Posted 02-05-2016 at 03:05 AM by astrogeek
Updated 08-19-2017 at 04:42 AM by astrogeek (Changed category)

Down The Rabbit Hole...

During an ordinary, cordial gathering of Slackware users over tea, as they happily shared their common visions (not to say hallucinations), the conversation inevitably took a turn down the rabbit hole.

Other enthusiastic Slackers, linguists, scholars and minstrels happily followed this new direction. Some provided historical and literary knowledge while musical accompaniment from another time played in the heads of all the wisened participants.

As I listened to The Airplane pass by inside my own skull I recalled another connection that I have with Alice, and the rabbit hole, which I had not thought about for... a while.

Sometime in the latter part of the last century, in another life it seems, I worked on a couple of projects at Cambridge. Being a book lover, if not an actual collector, I spent many free evenings and weekends exploring the many bookstores in the warren that surrounds market hill.

In one, David's if my memory still works, I found a beautiful leather bound reprint of both Through The Looking Glass and Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. I was already far over my travel budget, as I always was, but it was too much temptation to resist.

They are reprints of the originals first published by Macmillan & Co. in 1872 and 1866, respectively, woodcuts and all. They were produced under license to Macmillan by St. Edmundsbury Press, Suffolk, and bear the Macmillan imprint. I have looked, but never found another exactly like them.

They are bound in Morrocan leather over board with gold leaf patterning identical to the original, and gilt edges all around - which makes them somewhat unique. Most reproductions and reprints that I have found use a much different patterning than the original (not to mention vinyl) and exclude the center iconography of both front and back covers, or use an alternate. These are identical to the Appleton editions except for the spine imprint, which matches the Macmillan original.

My kids were very young, or not yet born at that time, but they all grew up over the next few years with an appreciation for nice books - and Lewis Carroll. The books were read, but always with care (and adult supervision!) and the hinges, spines and gilt edges remain unaffected by use.

Sometime in that cultural wasteland we now call the '90s, they were rewrapped and packed away for safe keeping... and I had mostly forgotten them, until reminded by the vibes emanating from Slackdom!

So, today I returned these mini-treasures to the light of day and have included a few photos here for others with an appreciation for the lost art of print and binding, in this digital age...

I have a few other printed and bound treasures as well, and welcome discussion and sharing by all with a love of fine books, and the knowledge and adventure only they can provide!

I hope you enjoy sharing these!





Posted in White Rabbits
Views 1360 Comments 7
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Total Comments 7


  1. Old Comment
    Beautiful... Simply beautiful. Leather bound with gold leaf embossing. Amazing... I honestly am in awe.
    Posted 02-05-2016 at 03:23 AM by ReaperX7 ReaperX7 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Nice ! No 'eBook' will ever be able to reach that...

    Edit: Woops, I didn't know about the Jefferson Airplane's recent losses:
    Posted 02-05-2016 at 03:26 AM by NoStressHQ NoStressHQ is offline
    Updated 02-05-2016 at 03:33 AM by NoStressHQ
  3. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by NoStressHQ View Comment
    Edit: Woops, I didn't know about the Jefferson Airplane's recent losses:
    Oh man! I didn't know that either... sad to see that, but glad to have shared their time on the planet! I think I'll pull out some old vinyl and spin it up, in memoriam.
    Posted 02-05-2016 at 03:42 AM by astrogeek astrogeek is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Wow! What a treasure. Over budget for something so beautiful and lucky to find is a non-issue now since they are all but irreplaceable.
    Posted 02-05-2016 at 01:07 PM by enorbet enorbet is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Letterpress type on bond. Tactile trace while reading. My earliest memory of *books* is things like this, but not so famous. Well done.
    Posted 02-05-2016 at 03:14 PM by keithpeter keithpeter is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Posted 02-05-2016 at 03:35 PM by vmccord vmccord is offline
  7. Old Comment


    Exceptionally nice astrogeek! Thanks!
    Posted 02-05-2016 at 05:20 PM by Ztcoracat Ztcoracat is offline


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