John Tenniel’s illustrations for “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” are iconic. However, the first printing of the book spurred the illustrator to write to author Lewis Carroll, to express his distress at how poorly the reproductions of his illustrations were. Carroll agreed and scrapped the entire first printing. This risky move required the author to sell 4,000 copies just to break even. The rejected copies were gifted to children’s institutions, of which only 23 are known to have survived. Lucky “Alice” was a hit. And the discarded first edition was Over the course of the author’s lifetime “Alice in Wonderland” had sold over 86,000 copies.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 5″x5″, ink and watercolor on illustration board