Poetry and Fiction
The Harp of a Thousand Strings.
By Lewis Carroll.
New York: Dick and Fitzgerald, 1858.
This anthology of humor stories includes—unauthorized and uncredited—“Lewis Carroll’s” first book appearance. Carroll’s story, entitled “Novelty and Romancement: A Broken Spell,” had previously appeared, signed “Lewis Carroll,” in the British monthly magazine The Train in March of 1856.
The broken spell [i.e., spelling] of the subtitle occurs when the narrator, one Leopold Edgar Stubbs, realizes he misread a sign for “roman cement” as “romancement.” It is an early example of Carroll’s fascination with verbal ambiguity.
Exhibit item 5.8