Sylvie and Bruno

by Lewis Carroll

Sylvie and Bruno

Sylvie and Bruno, first published in 1889, and its 1893 second volume Sylvie and Bruno Concluded form the last novel by Lewis Carroll published during his lifetime. Both volumes were illustrated by Harry Furniss.

The novel has two main plots: one set in the real world at the time the book was published (the Victorian era), the other in the fictional world of Fairyland. While the latter plot is a fairytale with many nonsense elements and poems, similar to Carroll’s most famous children’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the story set in Victorian Britain is a social novel, with its characters discussing various concepts and aspects of religion, society, philosophy and morality.

Source: Carroll, L. (1889). Sylvie and Bruno. London: Macmillan and Co.

Preface and explanation of purpose behind the book.
Chapter 1: “Less Bread! More Taxes!”
The Chancellor gets agitated at the roaring crowd outside his window. They are waiting for the Warden and seem to be screaming for less bread and more taxes. Bruno comes in looking for Sylvie.
Chapter 2: “L’Amie Inconnue”
Onboard a train, the narrator meets someone who looks like Sylvie. The narrator reviews a letter written to him.
Chapter 3: “Birthday-Presents”
The chancellor and the sub-warden discuss the populace who are actually saying more bread—less taxes.
Chapter 4: “A Cunning Conspiracy”
The Chancellor signs an agreement with my Lady who has given herself the title of Vice Wardeness.
Chapter 5: “A Beggar’s Palace”
There is talk of ghosts.
Chapter 6: “The Magic Locket”
Sylvia and Bruno, along with their dad who was made king of elfland, eat the local fruit.
Chapter 7: “The Baron’s Embassy”
Bruno and Sylvie and My Lady talk to the Baron about the military and then decide to take a walk and have a picnic in the gardens.
Chapter 8: “A Ride on a Lion”
Lady Muriel and the Earl discuss the weight of tea.
Chapter 9: “A Jester and a Bear”
Sylvie, Bruno, My Lady, and the Professor wander through the gardens. There is a silly limmerick about a headless bear.
Chapter 10: “The Other Professor”
The professor is confused as to which is the lion and which is the gardner.
Chapter 11: “Peter and Paul”
The other professor recites a poem about Peter and Paul.
Chapter 12: “A Musical Gardener”
Sylvie, Bruno, and the Other Professor continue chatting.
Chapter 13: “A Visit to Dogland”
Sylvie, Bruno, and the Other Professor enter Dogland and are spoken to by the guard.
Chapter 14: “Fairy-Sylvie”
Arthur and the narrator talk about Lady Muriel and their relationship.
Chapter 15: “Bruno’s Revenge”
Bruno and the narrator discuss the fairy king’s dinner party.
Chapter 16: “A Changed Crocodile”
Lady Muriel and the narrator talk about inviting Dr. Forester to a future picnic. the narrator sees Bruno and Sylvie curled up in the moss asleep.
Chapter 17: “The Three Badgers”
Lady Muriel, Arthur, and the Earl and his daughter consider going off on their own picnic.
Chapter 18: “Queer Street, Number Forty”
The Professor appears from nowhere.
Chapter 19: “How to Make a Phlizz”
Eric gives a report of the invalid to Lady Muriel and the others.
Chapter 20: “Light Come, Light Go”
Lady Muriel meets Sylvie and Bruno.
Chapter 21: “Through the Ivory Door”
Sylvie asks the Professor for help.
Chapter 22: “Crossing the Line”
Arthur and Lady Muriel prepare for Captain Lindon’s arrival.
Chapter 23: “An Outlandish Watch”
The narrator talks to two fishermen’s wives.
Chapter 24: “The Frogs’ Birthday-Treat”
Queen Titania’s baby is missing.
Chapter 25: “Looking Eastward”
Talk of the Sabbath and Free-Will.
  • Year Published: 1889
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.0
  • Word Count: 74,232
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, british literature, lewis carroll
  • ✎ Cite This
  • Share |
  • Available on iTunes U