The Hunting of the Snark
An Agony in Eight Fits
Distributed for British Library
He would answer to “Hi!” or to any loud cry,
Such as “Fry me!” or “Fritter my wig!” To “What-you-may-call-um!” or “What-was-his name!”
But especially “Thing-um-a-jig!”
While, for those who preferred a more forcible word,
He had different names from these: His intimate friends called him “Candle-ends,” And his enemies “Toasted-cheese.”
“His form is ungainly his intellect small——
(So the Bellman would often remark)
“But his courage is perfect! And that, after all, Is the thing that one needs with a Snark.”
He would joke with hyenas, returning their stare
With an impudent wag of the head: And he once went a walk, paw-in-paw, with a bear,
“Just to keep up its spirits,” he said.
The Hunting of the Snark is Lewis Carroll’s epic nonsense poem, first published in 1876. Though Carroll’s peculiar wit and imagination are evident here, this work, unlike his earlier Alice books, is a much darker tale. Here, ten characters whose names begin with the letter B disappear, go mad, and find themselves struggling to navigate an impossible path through a nonsensical world. Throughout the poem there is a prevailing atmosphere of disorder and chaos, heightened by Carroll’s descriptions of grotesque creatures such as the Bandersnatch and the Jubjub bird and his characteristic use of invented words—such as uffish, beamish, and frumious.
The meaning of the poem, and of the Snark itself, has been the subject of much debate, but nevertheless it remains a fun and lively read thanks to its combination of strangeness and whimsy. This new facsimile edition of the 1876 riginal is richly bound in red cloth with gold embossing and features reproductions of the original illustrations by Henry Holiday. This edition of the The Hunting of the Snark will be a treasured gift and collector’s item for fanciful readers of all ages.
a balance of pleasure and peril,
was writ by none other, in piqué or in fit,
than the beloved Lewis Carroll.
has doubtful ever been seen.
Imprinted with gold of the highest grade,
Most households will need seventeen.”
Fit I. The Landing
Fit II. The Bellman’s Speech
Fit III. The Baker’s Tale
Fit IV. The Hunting
Fit V. The Beaver’s Lesson
Fit VI. The Barrister’s Dream
Fit VII. The Banker’s Fate
Fit VIII. The Vanishing