The Wisdom of Solomon

Peter J. Solomon, that is, whose exhibit “Animals Are Us: Anthropomorphism in Children’s Literature” celebrates his recent, generous donation of material from the Peter and Susan Solomon Collection of Children’s Literature to the newly renovated Houghton Library at Harvard and runs September 1, 2021–January 7, 2022.

As he puts it in his introduction, “As I became more adventuresome, I acquired a copy of the virtually unobtainable 1865 ‘suppressed’ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and a first edition of Through the Looking Glass with thirty-eight bound-in original drawings by John Tenniel, as well as a number of other books, letters, and drawings by Carroll and Tenniel. The exhibit includes Carroll’s nine ink drawings—the copies of Tenniel’s illustrations he created for Alice Liddell so she could see them prior to the book’s publication. I even bought the pocket watch owned by Oxford don Charles Dodgson.”

Of course, those items represent a very small fraction of the exhibit, the superb catalog of which is available to read here or download as a .pdf. Or take a virtual-reality tour of the exhibit here.