Nine Snark Hunters

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:

  1. The Bellman, their captain.
  2. The Boots, a maker of Bonnets and Hoods (here marked with colouring)
  3. The Barrister, brought to arrange their disputes, but repeatedly complains about the Beaver’s evil lace-making.
  4. The Broker, to value their goods.
  5. The Billiard-marker, whose skill was immense, might perhaps have won more than his share.
  6. The Banker, engaged at enormous expense, had the whole of their cash in his care.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. The Butcher, who only could kill Beavers, but later became best friend with the lace-making animal.

9 or 10 hunters? | Care and Hope | The Snark

2017-11-06, edited: 2018-08-13

Page 83

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. It’s not rare. All copies are printed this way, because that’s how is should be. In Henry Holiday’s illustration on page 82 you see the head and a hand of the Baker, not the Banker. Remember, the Banker had to be left behind in the previous chapter.

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.

Nose is a Nose is a Nose


A Snark article in the Knight Letter
(with lots of help from Chris Morgan and Mark Burstein)

Source: Knight Letter (ISSN 0193-886X), Fall 2017, Number 99

read more

Update 2018-02-12:
My article is online (with permission of the Knight Letter editors). In the online copy, I fixed the wrong URL It’s Also four additional images have been attached to the article.


Comment to tweet by Bono Jorden:

Retweeted by Musée Unterlinden (2017-12-27):


The Beaver’s Lesson

The Butcher reasoning with the Beaver.

This is the illustration (partially inspired by various works of other artists) to the chapter The Beaver’s Lesson.