This is a really beautiful edition of The Hunting of the Snark, Lewis Carroll's epic nonsense poem.
Since I love the poem, and would give just about ANY edition of it 5 stars, for the purposes of this review I'm going to ignore the poem itself and focus on this particular edition - which is a very nice book indeed.
It's a hardback, and the right size to sit nicely alongside Gardner's ANNOTATED ALICE. Together, they make a perfect set.
Inside, it's beautifully printed (Black ink, with red used for the copious footnotes and in a few other places for decorative purposes.)
At the risk of sounding like one of those too, too 'sincere' guys on a TV shopping channel, let me say that not only do you get the full text of the poem; not only do you get beautiful reproductions of Henry Holiday's original illustrations (including the one that wasn't used); You also get an introduction by Adam Gopnik, and a series of prefaces by Martin Gardner himself.
But wait! There's more!
There's also a set of reproductions of the front and back of the original first edition. There are a few short pieces by Henry Holiday, discussing his illustrations and his working relationship with Carroll. There's a spoof 'commentary' on the poem by 'Snarkophilus Snobbs'.
And wait! There's more! There's an additional chapter (not so much a sequel as an in-betweenquel) by J A Lindon, providing a 'clue' that just maybe the Baker *wasn't* trying to say 'Boojum' when he met with his unfortunate vanishing.
There's even a copy of the 'Easter Greeting' that Carroll inserted into each copy of the book.
And yes, even more. Bibliographies, notes of musical versions of the poem, and even more that I can't recall just at present.
I love The Hunting so much that I have various editions of it (Including a highly prized first edition). Every few years I have to replace my totally worn out paperback 'working' copy. Now, finally, it's wonderful to have such a lavish (and more durable) hardback edition.
Nothing is perfect - I'm sure this edition must have its flaws, but for the life of me I can't think of any.
Very highly recommended.
This is a great nonsensical tale that probably will need an annotated version to make sense. Not of the purpose as that is in the title. But of the few words that are real but archaic. In any sense this is a fun read. I want to believe it holds some profound secret other than just a play on words.
"They sought it with Thimbles, they sot it with care;
They threatened its life with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap."
You will want to re-read "The Hunting of the Snark an Agony, in Eight Fits" (1876) and see with other allegorical nonsense you missed.