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"The Hunting of the Snark" was first published in 1876, eleven years after "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and four years after "Through the Looking-Glass." It is a master-piece of nonsense and is connected to "Through the Looking-Glass" by its use of vocabulary from the poem "Jabberwocky." "The Hunting of the Snark" is a strangely dark poem, and some critics believe that its themes-insanity and death-are rather too adult in nature for children's literature. We know, nonetheless, that Lewis Carroll intended the poem to be enjoyed by children: he dedicated the book in acrostic verse to his young friend Gertrude Chataway, and signed some 80 presentation copies to other young readers. Many of those inscriptions were in the form of an acrostic based upon the name of the child to whom the book was presented. Part of the pleasure of reading this book is in the inevitable musing about what it means. Its author, often asked to explain his work, invariably replies that he does not know. It is therefore open to readers of the poem to decide the question for themselves...