Most readers of The Hunting of the Snark assume that the Snark hunting party consists of 10 members. However, probably for a good reason, only 9 members can be seen in Henry Holiday’s illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s ballad. Actually, I really think that the Snark hunting party consists of 9 members only. But if you, as almost everybody else, prefer 10 Snark hunters, that’s fine too. Lewis Carroll gave you (and me) a choice, incidentally(?) in the 9th and the 10th line of his tragicomedy.
Let us take all the crew members 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 complained 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. From John Tufail I learned that in Henry Holiday’s illustration the Billiard-marker is preparing a cheat.
- 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-paw with a bear.
- The Butcher, who only could kill Beavers, but later became best friend with the lace-making animal.
More about the cast:
※ 9 or 10 hunters?
※ Care and Hope
※ The Snark
2017-11-06, completely rewritten: 2021-03-05
In this image, Charles Darwin’s tree of life sketch of the evolutionary tree (c. July 1837, Notebook B, 1837-1838, page 36) is compared to a “weed” in the lower left corner of Holiday’s illustration.
To my knowledge, the earliest publishing of a facsimile from Darwin’s hand drawing occurred in the 20th century. A “tree” was published in Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. But that was an image arranged by a typographer, not Darwin’s sketch from his Notebook B. Darwin did not keep his notebook B secret after the publication of On the Origin of Species, but I do not know of any presentation of his sketch before 1876. Thus, the resemblance between the “weed” and Darwin’s evolutionary tree probably may be purely incidental.
Are any earlier publishing dates for facsimile reproductions of his drawing known before 1876? Could Darwin’s supporters (probably not Darwin himself) have used his sketch for promoting The Descent of Man in 1871?
I am searching the earliest publishing date of that image e.g. in newspapers, magazines, books etc. Can you give me any hints?
In the illustration, there is no clear resemblance between Darwin and the Banker, who, however, is carrying a tuning fork. On his expedition with the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin used such an instrument for experiments with spiders.
2018-12-09, updated: 2021-01-04
2017-09-06, update 2020-04-12
I assume that in The Hunting of the Snark Lewis Carroll and Henry Holiday take references to Thomas Cranmer and his Forty-Two articles. I discussed that with an anglican priest and church historian. As this blog isn’t my echo chamber, I’ll show you his objections to what I think.
me: I think, that the “Baker’s” 42 boxes may be a reference to Thomas Cranmer’s 42 Articles. And I learned that Dodgson/Carroll had issues with the 39 Articles and therefore didn’t take ordination. Could you give me any hints where Dodgson/Carroll may have had issues with the 39 Articles? And as for the 42 Articles, I think, that Carroll may have rejected #42 (“All men shall not be saved at the length…”).
him: Why go for the 42 Articles, hardly in force for a month in 1553, when if Dodgson was denying any doctrinal statement, it would be the 39 Articles which had been in place since 1563? The articles of the 42 omitted in 1563 did include the article about universal salvation, but also matters about soul-sleep and millenarianism. As an allegorical reference, it seems beyond obscure.
me: Carroll did not accept (https://snrk.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/lewiscarrollpict00carruoft_bw_ocrmypdf_345-355.pdf) the last Article in the Forty-Two Articles. The Article 42 didn’t make it into the 39 Articles, but there is a publication which shows that this still was a controversial issue which Carroll had to deal with.
him: The argument makes no logical sense at all.
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2017-09-08, updated 2019-03-13
Could this be a pictorial reference by Alfred Parsons to The Hunting ot the Snark?
I am struggling with this one.
2017-08-29, updated: 2018-12-25
Try “Word”+”Contraction”+”Generator” on the Word Contraction Generator and you get (among other offers) Wontrenator. “Bonnets”+”Hoods” gives you (among other offers) a Boods.
The contractor doesn’t do it, but when selecting A WORD WITH SOME LETTERS in the Word Mixer, the tool yields (among many other offers) Boots for “Bonnets“+”Hoods”.
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