March 2020
New Publication

Edition of forty copies
5 Deluxe copies $4800
35 Regular copies $1800

In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, Alice climbs through a mirror into another world and finds many strange things: “There was a book lying near Alice on the table . . . she turned over the leaves to find some part that she could read, ‘for it’s all in some language I don’t know,’ she said to herself. It was like this:

She puzzled over this for some time, but at last a bright thought struck her. ‘Why, it‘s a Looking-glass book, of course! And if I hold it up to a glass, the words will all go the right way again.’ This was the poem that Alice read:

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe

‘It seems very pretty,’ she said when she had finished it, ‘but it’s rather hard to understand!’ (You see she didn’t like to confess, even to herself, that she couldn‘t make it out at all.) ‘Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas – only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that‘s clear, at any rate.’”

Esslemont has illustrated the poem with linocuts, creating unique images, ignoring Sir John Tenniel’s original drawings and Humpty Dumpty’s later explanation of the meaning of such words as "brillig", "toves" and "borogroves". However, they transpire to be quite similar to Humpty’s notions . . . .
The linocuts are mostly color ‘reduction linocuts’ – they are printed from the same block cut several times. Esslemont identifies the narrator in the poem with simple black and white illustrations.
The calligraphic text was drawn with a broad-nibbed pen on linoleum blocks that when printed render the letters in reverse, just as Alice found them.

8.5 x 5.5 inches, 60 pp, 60 linocuts: 34 black and white text, and illustrations, 26 color illustrations.
Five deluxe copies bound in white alum-tawed goatskin with a design painted in acrylic ink based on the frontispiece illustration, with gold tooling. Presented with a glass mirror in a felt-lined cloth-covered drop-back box – $4800.

Thirty-five regular copies in pastepaper boards, with a leather spine, presented with a card mirror in a cloth-covered drop-back box – $1800.


All the images are available separately as individual prints. Printed in editions of ten copies they vary in price from $150 to $300. Please enquire for availability andi pricing.

Download as PDF

jabberwocky title opening
Did gyre and gimble
Eyes of flame

Copyright © David Esslemont 2018