On the left side of this image comparison you see a scan (source: commons.wikimedia.org) of Henry Holiday’s illustration to the final chapter The Vanishing in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. It already is a quite faithful reproduction of the original illustration.
In prints made by Ian Mortimer (for a limited edition of The Hunting of the Snark published by Macmillan in 1993) from John Swain’s original woodblocks, the illustration has better quality, but looks even darker. That is as faithful to the original as it can get.
I think that in the original printing, the dark areas of the illustration grew wider than it was intended by Henry Holiday. It looks as if too much black ink spilled into the white areas. Therefore I scanned the illustration from my own 1st edition of The Hunting of the Snark. Then I grew the white areas a bit. (First I enlarged the image by 2:1. Then I applied GIMP → Filters → Generic → Delate. After that I scaled the image back to its previous size.) You see the result on the right side.
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021 There was one who was famed for the number of things
022 He forgot when he entered the ship:
023 His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,
024 And the clothes he had bought for the trip.
025 He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,
026 With his name painted clearly on each:
027 But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
028 They were all left behind on the beach.
029 The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
030 He had seven coats on when he came,
031 With three pairs of boots–but the worst of it was,
032 He had wholly forgotten his name.
“What I tell you three times is true” is the most frequently quoted line from The Hunting of the Snark. Besides that, the lyrics of this album by the “alternative metal band Fair to Midland“ doesn’t take any references to Lewis Carroll’s ballad. But already today I listened to it more than three times.
Sadly, the band met the Boojum in 2013.
There is no tenth member in Henry Holiday’s illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. I think that the Snark hunting party consists of nine members only. Let us take them in order of their introduction:
- The Bellman, their captain.
- The Boots, a maker of Bonnets and Hoods
- The Barrister, brought to arrange their disputes, but repeatedly complaining about the Beaver’s evil lace-making.
- The Broker, to value their goods.
- The Billiard-marker, whose skill was immense, might perhaps have won more than his share.
- The Banker, engaged at enormous expense, had the whole of their cash in his care.
- The Beaver, that paced on the deck or would sit making lace in the bow and had often (the Bellman said) saved them from wreck, though none of the sailors knew how.
- The Baker, also addressed by “Fry me!”, “Fritter my wig!”, “Candle-ends” as well as “Toasted-cheese”, and known for joking with hyenas and walking paw-in-baw with a bear.
- The Butcher, who only could kill Beavers, but later became best friend (as shown in the illustration below) with the lace-making animal.
2017-11-06, edited: 2018-05-27
Why Donald Trump Can’t Kill the Truth, by Errol Morris, TIME, 2018-05-22:
[…] What is so scary about the present time is that people believe that they can assert truth just by screaming louder than others or repeating themselves endlessly, like the Bellman in Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark”: “What I tell you three times is true.” […]
In my view, tweaking the truth is nothing new. But the ability to tweet the tweaked truth makes the difference.
By the way: Morris’ article links to the Poetry Foundation. They do a good job, but Ebooks Adelaide offers a better on-line rendering of the poem. My version is based on an earlier Ebooks Adelaide version.
Bycatch (found in 2013) from my Snark hunt:
initial post: 2017-09-26
Need I rehearse the history of Jowett?
I need not, Senior Censor, for you know it.
That was the Board Hebdomadal, and oh!
Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow!
Lewis Carroll, from Notes by an Oxford chiel (1874)
See also: John Tufail, The Jowett Controversy
Examples for advertising the 1st edition of “The Hunting of the Snark”, then offered for €200 and more:
First edition, first printing, with “Baker” for “Banker” on page 83.
First issue with “baker” not “butcher” on page 83. It is unknown how many copies were printed this way.
This is about line 560 on page 83, the last page of Lewis Carroll’s tragicomedy. All copies are printed this way. And in Henry Holiday’s illustration on page 82 you can see the Baker.
So there is nothing special about “Where the Baker had met with the Snark.” Those rare book traders just don’t check the facts.
Then there is the JubJub. If you read somewhere that the bird never will look at a “bride”, then better check line 386 on page 55 in the original Snark edition.
In an early draft to the illustration The Crew on Deck in Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, the illustrator Henry Holiday gave the Bellman a different face than the one which the Bellman had in the final illustration. Henry Holiday didn’t discard the original face. He moved that round faced character to the illustration The Barrister’s Dream and then turned the Bellman in the illustration The Crew on Deck into a Darwin look-alike.
What I tell you three times is true!
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