Snark by David Elliot
Warning: Not for the faint-hearted!
Snark: being a true history of the expedition that discovered the Snark and the Jabberwock … and its tragic aftermath is the delightful filling out of Lewis Carroll’s poems The Hunting of the Snark (an Agony in 8 Fits) and Jabberwocky, the latter from his Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Elliot tells of the discovery of an old journal written by the youngest crew member on the Snark expedition: The Boots. The journal tells of the organising of the expedition (and the reasons for it) right through to its end, folding in the Carroll poems along the way. This is all fun enough but the real joy of the volume is Dunedin-based Elliot’s wonderful illustrations – calling on Australian fauna for the design of his Jabberwocks and Bandersnatches, and delightfully portraying the expedition members: Bellman and his Beaver et al. As an added bonus the finder of The Boot’s journal published it some years before the present volume – which allows for a notes section at the end, made up of the many comments the author received from scholars who had studied the text. But as advised in the author’s introduction read the book before the notes. It is a lovely, lovely read – but be warned it is truly scary at the end!