Martin Gardner's Other Annotated Books

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Martin's best seller by far was The Annotated Alice (Potter, 1960) and its sequels. He wrote several other annotated books of note too.

The Annotated Snark

The Annotated Snark (Bramshall, 1962, 111 pages) was based on another Lewis Carroll classic, The Hunting of the Snark (1876). It included the full original text with illustrations by Henry Holiday, interspersed with extensive notes, an annotated Bibliography, and an Appendix. The "suppressed" drawing of a Boojum makes its first appearance in a book.

Martin opened his 15-page Introduction with these words,

"Although Lewis Carroll thought of The Hunting of the Snark as a nonsense ballad for children, it is hard to imagine—in fact one shudders to imagine—a child of today reading and enjoying it."
He goes on to quote Chesteron to the effect that Carroll should be read by "sages and gray-haired philosophers."

The Annotated Ancient Mariner

The Annotated Ancient Mariner (Clarkson N. Potter, 1965, 10 + 200 pages with the 1870 illustrations by Gustave Doré) was based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's narrative poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" from 1798.

The Annotated Casey at the Bat


The Annotated Casey at the Bat: A Collection of Ballads about the Mighty Casey (Potter, 1967, Bramhall House, 1967, 18 + 206 pages) was based on Ernest Lawrence Thayer's comic ballad from 1888, a personal favorite of Martin's since his youth. A 2nd edition of the book was published by the University of Chicago Press (1984, 216 pages), and a 3rd edition by Dover (1995, 18 + 231 pages). It was reprinted as simply The Annotated Casey at the Bat with new artwork (The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, 152 pages, 2008) a few years before Martin died. (See the baseball page for more background.)

The Annotated Innocence of Father Brown

After a two decade gap, Martin resumed publishing in this genre, with The Annotated Innocence of Father Brown (Oxford, 1987, Dover, 1997, 306 pages), which was based on a G. K. Chesterton book from 1911. (He annotated another Chesterton classic a decade later.)

The Annotated Night Before Christmas

The Annotated Night Before Christmas (Summit, 1991, Prometheus, 2005, 257 pages) is based on Clement Moore's 1823 ballad "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (aka "Twas the Night Before Christmas"). It's subtitled "A Collection of Sequels, Parodies, and Imitations of Clement Moore's Immortal Ballad about Santa Claus." There are 22 pages of introductory notes, before the 4-page original, followed by 200 pages of sequels, parodies and imitations, then an epilogue by C. K. Chesterton, and a 3-page appendix.

The Annotated Thursday

The Annotated Thursday (Ignatius, 1999, 290 pages) was based on G. K. Chesterton's metaphysical thriller The Man Who Was Thursday from 1908.

Alice / Snark / Ancient Mariner / Casey at the Bat / Innocence of Father Brown / Night Before Christmas / Oz