I was fortunate enough recently to be at the Vere Harmsworth Library, the principal research colletions relating to US History at the University of Oxford, for a symposium on the life and works of Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson’s third cousin, twice removed – at her request) when a newly discovered draft manuscript of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was found in the rare books collection at Sakler Library. This original draft, called “Nancy in Swampland,” sheds new light on Carroll’s thoughts and writing process.
“This work reveals to an incredible degree the extraordinary influence Emmett Lee Dickinson's poetry had on Carroll’s work,” said Rupert Ridge Birtwistle, the Chief Impact and Optimization Executive and Legacy Integration Liaison Officer of the Rare Books Collection of the library.
“And what's really amazing to me,” he added, “is that the manuscript was just sitting there in a filing cabinet drawer all these years.”
Below left: Nancy in Swampland. Below right: Tweedledum and Tweedledummer.
Below: Some selections from the newly discovered manuscript of Lewis Carroll's "Nancy in Swampland":
The time has come' the Liar said,
To talk of many things:
Of golf – and guns – and border walls –
Of autocrats – and kings –
And why my Tweet-storm’s boiling hot –
And whether Bolton sings.
Below left: Moscow Mitch Below right: Lady Lindsey
"No, no!" said Moscow Mitch. "Acquittal first – trial afterward."
"Stuff and nonsense!" said Nancy loudly. "The idea of having an acquittal first!"
"Hold your tongue!" said the Moscow Mitch, turning orange.
"I won't!" said Nancy.
"Off with her head!" Lady Lindsey shouted at the top of his lungs. Nobody moved.
"Who cares for you?" said Nancy. She towered over the quisling. "This administration is nothing but a house of cards!"
Below: The Mad Hannity -- also known as the Jabber-Talkie
’Twas brillig, and the slimy toads
Did gyre and gimble in the swamp:
All loathsome were Republicans,
As the MAGA rats galomped.