Thursday, 8 December 2011
Lovely: Henry Holiday, 'The Snark'. This is an unpublished pencil drawing for The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll (1876). The sheet size is 20.3 x 20.95 cm. I found it in an article by Sarah Hamilton Phelps called 'The Hartley Collection of Victorian Illustration', Boston Museum Bulletin (1972), 56-67. I particularly like the sketches of the snark-hunters' heads around the margin.
This representation of the Snark as a sort of giant whale was never used, as Phelps reports: 'because Carroll "had made the Snark strictly unimaginable and wanted him to remain so." Holiday says of his own drawing in a letter to Hartley: "You may rely on my drawing being strictly accurate. I pledge my word that I have never met with anyone however critically disposed who was able to prove a single fault in it."'