Eight Or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing

Author: Lewis Carroll

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Eight Or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing is a pamphlet first published in 1890, and as its name indicates, it includes advice and rules on how to write and mail letters. Among its most relevant points we have:

Before replying to a letter you must read it, write legibly! The ideal is to answer our correspondent’s questions before asking new ones: The best subject to start with is the last letter we received from our correspondent, do not repeat yourself, use the postscript for subjects that are less important, etc.

The contents of this booklet are divided as follows: On stamp cases, 2. How to begin a letter, 3. How to go on with a letter, 4. How to end a letter, and 5. On registering correspondence.


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Sylvie and Bruno

Lewis Carroll

It is a novel that was first published in 1889, and although Lewis Carroll’s intention was for the novel to be published in a single volume due to its great length, it was divided into two.

Two stories of the first volume, Fairy Sylvie and Bruno’s Revenge, had been previously published in 1867. Subsequently, Carroll had the idea of using them as the nucleus of a longer story. The storyline of Sylvie and Bruno consists of two main plots:

One takes place in the real world, in Victorian-era England, being a social novel in which concepts related to society, morality and religion are debated. The other takes place in the imaginary world: Fairyland, a fairy tale that also contains poems.

The Nursery Alice

Lewis Carroll

The Nursery Alice (1889) is a short version of the book «Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland». According to the author, it is a work oriented to children «from zero to five years old».

It contains twenty illustrations by John Tenniel, taken from the original book, but enlarged and colored, aimed at the youngest children.

The book was published 25 years after the first edition of the original «Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland»

The Hunting of the Snark

Lewis Carroll

The Hunting of the Snark is a poem that is generally classified as a nonsense poem. Written between 1874 and 1876, the poem borrows the setting, some creatures, and eight key words from Carroll’s earlier poem «Jabberwocky» from the novel «Through the Looking Glass».

The plot follows a crew of ten as they attempt to hunt the Snark, an animal that can become a very dangerous Boojum. The only member of the crew who finds the Snark quickly disappears, prompting the narrator to explain that it was a Boojum after all. The poem is dedicated to the young Gertrude Chataway, whom Carroll met in the English seaside town of Sandown on the Isle of Wight in 1875.

Three Sunsets and Other Poems

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Although Lewis Carroll is best known for his children’s work Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, he also wrote poetry aimed at an older audience. The poems included in Three Sunsets and Other Poems could be considered more “serious” in subject matter and less fanciful, while maintaining the writer’s characteristic style.

Many of the poems included have love and death as their main theme. Among them we can mention: The Path of the Roses, which was written after the Crimean War, when Florence Nightingale was at the height of her fame.

Other poems include Far Away and A Song of Love, which are reprints previously published in the volumes of Sylvie and Bruno, and After Three Days, which was written after contemplating Holman Hunt’s picture, The Finding of Christ in the Temple.

Rhyme And Reason

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It is a large collection of fanciful and humorous verse in which Lewis reveals his facility for wordplay and logic. This collection, first published in 1883, was also published under the name Phantasmagoria and Other Poems in 1869.

It includes such famous poems as Phantasmagoria, which is Carroll’s longest poem, and which was published as the opening of the collection mentioned above. Other verses included in Rhyme And Reason are: A Sea Dirge, Ye Carpette Knyghte, Hiawatha’s Photographing, Melancholetta, A Valentine, The Three Voices, among others.

In total it includes 17 poems, of which only Echoes, A Game of Fives, Fame’s Penny-Trumpet and the last three of the “Four Riddles” were published for the first time, as all the others had already appeared in previous publications.