Lewis Carroll – “8 or 9 Wise Words”and”Wonderland” Stamp Case, 1890

April 28, 2023

In 1890, Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson at Daresbury, Cheshire, and author of “Alice in Wonderland”, wrote a short essay entitled “Eight or Nine Wise Words about Letter Writing” which was originally published as a miniature 40 page pamphlet, accompanied by a similar sized stamp wallet, this being invented by Lewis Carroll himself in 1889, and known as the “Wonderland Stamp Case”.

The stamp case was intended by Carroll to encourage letter writing and had twelve stamp sized slots, two marked for the most commonly used one penny stamps, the others for all of the other current denominations up to one shilling, and featured coloured illustrations of well known characters from “Alice in Wonderland”, with Alice on the front, and the Cheshire Cat on the back.

The essay on Letter Writing was intended by Lewis Carroll to help avoid excessive repetition and illegibility, beginning with sections on “How to Start a Letter”, “How to Address and Stamp a Letter”, “Make sure you have a Stamp available” (hence the stamp case), along with tips on suitable content, for example: “Start with apologies (but not too many!), answer any questions first, then continue with your own interesting remarks”, and so on.

Recent posts