Let Universe be Books

I have just received Justin G. Schiller Ltd.’s Spring Miscellany catalogue (no. 53) and among the many interesting items listed is an “original ink Manuscript lesson for teaching Logic, conceived in diagram format and dated by Dodgson in the upper right corner ‘5/3/94.'”

Let Universe be Books, a Dodgson MS

On 5 March 1894 Dodgson wrote in his diary:

Gave two Lectures in Logic, one at the High School, to the girls, at 2: the other to Miss Soulsby and four mistresses as well as Edith Lucy and Miss Scott, at 8 p.m.

More from the catalogue entry written with Edward Wakeling’s assistance:

Dodgson here is explaining in a simple way the logic terms “mutually exclusive” and “exhaustive”, as well as their converses. He uses a visual example of books on shelves to get his points across… The term “Universe” in this lesson means every known book that exists…

The MS was once part of the inventory of Blackwells of Oxford, who attended the dispersal auction sale of Dodgson’s library and effects in 1898, and they might have acquired it at this time, perhaps inside one of Dodgson’s books as a page-marker.

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