Your comments on the Wasp
Jack Bradshaw said :
I do not believe it has never been scrutinized. I think I read somewhere the type had been examined and it was genuine, can anyone confirm that?
The original document has never been examined. We think a photocopy was looked at by someone qualified, who pronounced the typeface to be the same, but we’re not sure how much value can be attached to that under the circs. Back in 2003 I (KL) talked to the now late Melvin Harris, arch fraud-buster, who said the typeface would have to be examined under magnification for any worthwhile results. Any typeface experts out there who can confirm or refute that?
Deb Caputo said –
Martin Gardner suggests that Carroll kept the galley proof because he may have wanted to do something else with it. That doesn’t make much sense, why would Carroll keep something of inferior quality? One thing we do know about Carroll is that he was very pernickety about the quality of the writing or photos he produced. And why keep this galley when no others were?
Yes, this is one of the things that feels a bit ‘off’. If the rest of the Looking-Glass galleys had survived it might seem less strange. Why just this specific portion? You’d think LC would be more likely to preserve his original MS version rather than the galleys. But of course it’d be much harder to fake a handwritten MS. From the POV of a forger the galleys, with their small amounts of handwritten corrections would be ideal. Which of course doesn’t make them fake, but it does add to that slick of doubt.
And Deb again-
I have been reading the facsimile edition of Wasp in the Wig… Martin Gardner certainly seemed to have no shadow of a doubt about its authenticity. Something struck me as odd about the document; according to Gardner the Wasp was not a distinct chapter but occurs towards the end of chapter six, just before Alice becomes queen.
If this is so why do the galley proofs only contain the apparently missing fragment without the links to the existing Looking-Glass chapter? Wouldn’t there be linking sentences to show where the chapter joined with the rest of the book?
Ah, interesting. Anyone know of a reason why this point isn’t valid?
Lastly, Hermione, who has written a thesis on art fraud:
You mentioned ‘Oath of a Freeman,’ is it worth mentioning then that Mark Hofmann arrived in the UK in 1973, a matter of months before the Wasp in the Wig made its first appearance?
Goodness yes. Wonderful coincidence of timing. But he would have been too young, no?