An exercise book containing the names and addresses of 121 friends and relatives of Alice In Wonderland author Lewis Carroll – written in Carroll’s trademark violet ink and including the name and address of his Sunderland-based sister Mary – fetched £27,500 at an auction today.
Carroll, real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, compiled the list in the summer of 1889 and the names and addresses are those of the people to whom Carroll planned to send copies of his 1890 book, The Nursery Alice, a shortened version of Carroll’s 1865 masterpiece, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.
The recipients included Carroll’s sister, Mary Collingwood, who lived at Southwick Rectory, Sunderland.
In March 2007, a blue commemorative plaque was unveiled at Mrs Collingwood’s former home, the old rectory of Holy Trinity,on Church Bank, following a campaign by Southwick History and Preservation Society (SHAPS) to have the historic building recognised.
The unveiling ceremony featured a reading from one of Carroll’s best loved poems, The Walrus and the Carpenter.
Carroll spent holidays there with his relatives Herbert and Margaret Wilcox, at Highcroft, Whitburn, where he wrote some of his nonsense poem, Jabberwocky.
While in the north east,Carroll visited his sister, Mary Collingwood, whose Sunderland-born husband, the Rev Charles Collingwood, was rector of Southwick.
Lewis Carroll’s exercise book – containing his sister’s name and Sunderland address – was auctioned at Sotheby’s in London today.