A furious wild beast by Harry Furniss. Swain, engraver. 1889. Illustration for Lewis Carroll's Sylvia and Bruno Concluded, p. 388. Source: Hathi Digital Library Trust version of a copy in the Pennsylvania State University Library. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

All along the gallery, that led to the Prince's apartment, an excited crowd was surging to and fro, and the Babel of voices was deafening : against the door of the room three strong men were leaning, vainly trying to shut it for some great animal inside was constantly bursting it half open, and we had a glimpse, before the men could push it back again, of the head of a furious wild beast, with great fiery eyes and gnashing teeth. Its voice was a sort of mixture there was the roaring of a lion, and the bellowing of a bull, and now and then a scream like a gigantic parrot. "There is no judging by the voice!" the Professor cried in great excitement. "What is it?" he shouted to the men at the door.

Lewis Carroll’s original title of this illustration was “Porcupine!” (“The Beggar’s Return” (24.388), and it formed part of a crucial ‘Carrollian Crescendo’ to the final part of the fairytale. Regrettable indeed therefore, that the subsequent abridged edition of 1904, by Dodgson’s brother Edwin, omitted this glorious Furniss portrayal of Fantasy, even though Edwin’s version had its own chapter 27 actually titled “The Porcupine.” More details of the younger brother’s editorial tampering are given in Dyer 2016. — Ray Dyer



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Bibliography

Carroll, Lewis. Sylvia and Bruno Concluded. London: Macmillan & Co., 1893. Hathi Digital Library Trust version of a copy in the Pennsylvania State University Library. Web. 20 September 2016.

Lewis Carroll’s Sylvie and Bruno with Sylvie and Bruno Concluded. Ed. Ray Dyer. Troubador/matador.co.uk, 2015; Amazon USA: 2015].


Last modified 20 September 2016