The website Letters of Note has two Lewis Carroll correspondences up today, both to Isabel Seymour in 1869. They are part of the Rosenbach Museum & Library’s collection in Philadelphia, where the Lewis Carroll Society of North America will be holding its spring meeting on April 24th, 2010. (There’s also an installation by Sue Johnson inspired by Carroll and poet Marianne Moore at the Rosenbach up thru June.) The first letter is an apology for stealing Isabel’s train ticket:
May 15, 1869
My dear Isabel,
Words cannot tell how horrified, terrified, petrified (everything ending with “fied,” including all my sisters here saying “fie!” when they heard of it) I was when I found that I had carried off your ticket to Guildford. I enquired directly I got there whether anything could be done, but found you must have arrived in London some time before I got here. So there was nothing to be done but tear my hair (there is almost none left now), weep, and surrender myself to the police.
I do hope you didn’t suffer any inconvenience on account of my forgetfulness, but you see you would talk so all the way (though I begged you not) that you drove everything out of my head, including the very small portion of brain that is usually to be found there.
Miss Lloyd will never forgive me for it—of that I feel certain. But I have some hope that after many years, when you see me, an aged man on crutches, hobbling to your door, the sternness of your features may relax for a moment, and, holding out the forefinger of your left hand, you may bring yourself to say, “All is forgotten and forgiven.”
I hardly dare ask what really happened at Paddington, whether the gentleman and lady, who were in the carriage, helped you out of the difficulty, or whether your maid had money enough, or whether you had to go to prison. If so, never mind: I’ll do my best to get you out, and at any rate you shant be executed.
Seriously, I am so sorry for it, and with all sorts of apologies, I am sincerely yours,
C. L. Dodgson
And there’s a second one at Letters of Note. Thank you Melissa Brice of Canary Promotion + Design for the tip.
Messrs. August A. Imholtz, Jr., and Mark Burstein, bigwigs of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, have prepared a useful digital book of the Chronological List of the Meetings of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, with details about Who Spoke About What and What Else Happened, from the inaugural meeting in Princeton, New Jersey, January 1974, thru the forthcoming April 2010 meeting at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia (that’s right! where the Marianne Moore / Lewis Carroll installation by Sue Johnson is, blogged about here.)
Another fundraiser for the 2015 event is a weekly auction of very fun items donated by the family of the great Carrollian collector Carolyn Buck. Check it out, and keep checking back as new items will be added every week this fall.
Which reminds me, if you are interested in helping organize a fabulous event, send Joel Birenbaum an email. Every little bit helps!
If the LCSNA meetings in 2010 are coming up too fast for you, how about 2015? The LCSNA hopes to hold a special event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland, but doing so requires planning and fundraising. Fortunately for you, our fundraisers are always interesting things that you were going to buy anyway!
The first of these is dollmaker Nancy Wiley’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, illustrated with photographs of scenes featuring Wiley’s dolls. Purchase the book via LCSNA member Joel Birenbaum and a portion of the proceeds will go to the 2015 event.
If you weren’t able to attend the LCSNA fall meeting in Fort Lee, NJ, this past weekend, take a look at some of the articles written about it…
“Down the rabbit hole, onto the silver screen”
“Fort Lee as ‘Wonderland’”
… then start planning for the spring meeting! It will take place at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia on April 24, 2010.
The program (pdf) for the Fall 2009 LCSNA meeting is now available!
The meeting will be held in Fort Lee Historical Park Museum in Fort Lee, New Jersey (just across the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan), on October 17, 2009. The first Alice movie with sound was shot in Fort Lee, which is a famous site in film history. Two Alice films will be shown, and we will hear talks by Alice film experts and collectors.
We hope you can join us for what promises to be a wonderful program, followed by an excellent dinner at a nearby restaurant. Details for registering are on page 2 of the program announcement.
Note that the agenda for the LCSNA’s spring meeting in Santa Fe on Saturday, May 9 has been updated and added to. In addition to Theaterwork’s performance of La Guida di Bragia, there will be a musical performance of the chamber piece “The Chess Game” (based on Through the Looking-Glass) – check out the details! I highly recommend attending if you can make it.
Information on the LCSNA’s Spring meeting in Santa Fe on May 9 is now available. Remember, meetings are free, and this one includes the first professional production of Lewis Carroll’s play La Guida di Bragia!
The Fall Meeting of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America will be held on October 25th at the Fales Library, New York University, to begin at 11:00 A.M. Everyone is welcome to attend. Jon Scieszka, the Library of Congress’s first National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature, will be discussing his new witty and creative retelling of Alice with Mary Blair‘s illustrations. Also speaking at the meeting will be Mahendra Singh, Snark illustrator; Peter Westergaard, composer; and Nancy Willard, Newberry award-winning author. The complete program is available online. See you there!
Or even if you didn’t, view a short film of the LCSNA’s Washington DC meeting and general goings-on last month at Oleg Lipchenko’s blog http://alice-dodo.blogspot.com/. (And check out his Alice, while you’re at it!)
Other photos of the event can be viewed
Remember, all meetings are open to members and non-members alike. If you are interested in attending a meeting or are curious about the society, take a look at the website at www.lewiscarroll.org.