THE GERM: Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature, and Art

London: Tupper and Sons, 1850. 1st Edition. Hardcover. THE GERM was a short-lived magazine of poetry, published in four issues January -April 1850, by William Michael Rossetti (who also edited the magazine) and other members of the Brotherhood, including his brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Woolner and James Collinson This copy was that of Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, (1832 - 1898) and bears two of his signatures and an ownership stamp as Dodgson. 8vo, tight diamond-patterned cloth, green half leather, raised bands, devices and titles in gilt at spine, aeg, marbelized endpapers. (10), 192, (2), 4 plates (one double-paged). Corners and edges obviously scuffed. Internals near fine. Covers absent: the first entry is the first plate (frontispiece) and "Beautiful Lady" opposite. Last entry (on page 192) "The Evil Under the Son" Signature in florid hand "C L Dodgson" on marbelized front pastedown (which suggests this was bound by Dodgson or acquired by him already bound). Ownership stamp in purple ink "Charles L. Dodgson" verso ffe. Signature "CDodgson Ch. Ch." upper right corner verso first plate (frontispiece). The Dodgson signature with Ch. Ch. refers to the College of Christ Church at Oxford, where Carroll first enrolled as a student at the age of 18. He stayed on to teach mathematics at Oxford and became a deacon of the Anglican Church. He published "Alice in Wonderland" in 1865, having first met the Lidell family, which included Alice, when dean Lindell arrived at Oxford in 1855. THE GERM figures into Carroll's wheelhouse. In the interim between his early published writings and the success of the Alice books, Dodgson began to move in the pre-Raphaelite social circle. He first met John Ruskin in 1857 and became friendly with him. Around 1863, he developed a close relationship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his family. He would often take pictures of the family in the garden of the Rossetti's house in Chelsea, London. He also knew William Holman Hunt (whose work was published in The Germ), John Everett Millais, and Arthur Hughes, among other artists. (SOURCE: Wikepedia) THE GERM also printed contributions of verse and essays on art and literature by associates of the Brotherhood, including Ford Madox Brown and Coventry Patmore, as well as occasional book reviews. Illustrations were provided by members of the brotherhood. Every issue began with an original etching. William Holman Hunt provided an illustration to Woolner's poem My Beautiful Lady in the first issue. Collinson illustrated his own poem, The Child Jesus, in the second issue. Madox Brown created a two-page illustration of the King Lear and his daughters for the third issue, accompanying his article on the mechanics of a history painting. Walter Deverell depicted Viola and Olivia from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in the last issue. The title The Germ refers to the Pre-Raphaelite belief in the importance of nature (a germ is a seed) and of the human imagination, as implied by the phrase "the germ of an idea". They hoped that the magazine would be a seed from which new creative ideas would grow. It was subtitled thoughts towards nature in art and literature to emphasize the editors' belief that poetry and art should be closely intertwined. In the hope of improving the magazine's poor sales, it was renamed with the less ambiguous title Art and Poetry, being Thoughts towards Nature, conducted principally by Artists for its final two issues. The Germ was printed by Messrs. Tupper and Sons, a firm of lithographic and general printers in the City of London, who took a financial stake in the publication to try to ensure its success. However, only 70 of the first issue of 700 copies were sold. The print run was reduced for later editions, but sales did not pick up. The Tupper family had links to the Brotherhood. George Tupper bore the brunt of the financial lossses (Source: Wikipedia). Near Fine. Item #012720

Price: $12,500.00