Miscellaneous Alice > The reprint was all about Tenniel's illustrations

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Treacle
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The reprint was all about Tenniel's illustrations

Postby Treacle » Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:12 am

If the 1866 Macmillan text of AAiW was better printed than the 1865 Appleton edition, the improvement was only to Tenniel's illustrations, not to the printing of the words of the text. R. Clay, Son, and Taylor, printers, did a good but not great typesetting job.

In more than one place, a full stop was used instead of a colon. That doesn't sound like a big error, but in a complex sentence it disrupts the sense of the writing. The first paragraph of chapter seven, A Mad Tea-Party, had that mistake, for example. The mistake was corrected in later printings, but that's how it's printed in the facsimile of the 1866 Macmillan text, the one that was a new bestseller in 1865.

Lenny's favorite quote from AAiW had a "that" in place of the "than" that correctly appeared in later printings.

I guess people usually gloss over printing errors as long as the whole print job isn't riddled with errors. This wouldn't be worth mention except that the fact that Lewis Carroll pulled the first printing is considered important, so much so that it's sort of implied that everything, including the typesetting, was as it should be in the reprint.

I dealt with this in putting together an edition of AAiW. If I'd been using the Alice characters in adaptation, it wouldn't much matter.

Lewis Carroll's illustrators said he was difficult to work with. Of course they said that; authors then and now don't work with illustrators at all, as a general practice. As for the typesetting, the work by the Clarendon Press was fine with him. As a new author he was probably thrilled to see his first book in print.

With Alice 150 coming up, isn't it worth noting that Lewis Carroll was not finicky about AAiW at first?

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Treacle
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Postby Treacle » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:30 am

I stand corrected. (Research reading can do that.)

What I said earlier about the two printings of the images and the text was true, but off the point: the reprint was on better, thicker paper that took the printer's ink more uniformly and reduced ink bleed-through to the other side of the sheet of paper. The result was better line definition and color contrast, achieved without changes to the woodcuts or the typesetting.

(Just another reminder that there's so much to learn about anything. I'll never feel smart at this rate :-)


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