Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up! This year is the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and I wanted to dedicate this week’s column to all things Alice in Wonderland. My mother introduced me to this classic when I was five years old and it still stands as one of my all-time favorites.
Why do I love it? Let me tell you in five wonderful ways:
1- Cheshire Cat
I love the cheshire cat because he is so mysterious and I love that grin! He helps Alice when he feels like it and always seems to be appearing when she needs guidance.
2- Mad Hatter Tea Party
Who doesn’t love a tea party? I did when I was little and reading the crazy antics that goes on makes for excellent reading. Tongue-twisters and fast dialogue only adds to the reverie.
3- Alice herself
I love the character Alice because she is an intelligent child with an overactive imagination. She’s curious about things (rabbit hole and drinking potions) and has a penchant for getting herself into trouble. She reminds me of myself and that’s a very good thing.
4- Command of the English language
Lewis Carroll was one of the first authors to not talk down to children in his books. He knew from experience that children were smart and there was nothing wrong with speaking in proper English. If a child didn’t know what a word or phrase meant, Carroll figured it was a great opportunity for a child to learn. I couldn’t agree more!
5- White Rabbit
“I’m late. I’m late for a very important date.”
It all started with the white rabbit popping out of his rabbit hole and creating such a fuss. I love the character of the white rabbit because he signifies society on a much smaller (and fluffier) scale. We’re all rushing around, missing out on the little things. He’s the complete opposite of the Mad Hatter. I love this character because he serves a great learning parable. No matter how rushed you are, stop and enjoy the journey. Better yet, be on time so the Red Queen doesn’t behead you.
There are several books scheduled for release in honor of this anniversary. My recommendation for you is the following:
The Annotated Alice: 150th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (150th Deluxe Anniversary Edition) (The Annotated Books) by Lewis Carroll (Author), Martin Gardner (Editor), Mark Burstein (Editor), John Tenniel (Illustrator)
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland comes this richly illustrated and expanded collector’s edition of Martin Gardner’s The Annotated Alice.
One summer afternoon in 1862, the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson took a rowboat out on the Thames. With him were three young friends from the Liddell family―the sisters Lorina, Edith, and Alice. Dodgson often spun fairy tales on these boating trips to pass the time, and on this particular afternoon the story was particularly well received by Alice, who afterwards entreated him to write it down for her. Dodgson recalled the pivotal moment thusly: “In a desperate attempt to strike out some new line of fairy-lore, I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole, to begin with, without the least idea what was to happen afterwards.”
The tale, initially titled Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, became Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which Dodgson published in 1865 as Lewis Carroll. So began the journey, now in its 150th year, of one of the most beloved stories of all time.
The Annotated Alice: 150th Anniversary Deluxe Edition compiles over half a century of scholarship by leading Carrollian experts to reveal the history and full depth of the Alice books and their enigmatic creator. This volume brings together Martin Gardner’s legendary original 1960 publication, The Annotated Alice; his follow-ups, More Annotated Alice and the Definitive Edition; his continuing explication through the Knight Letter magazine; and masterly additions and updates edited by Mark Burstein, president emeritus of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. In these pages Lewis Carroll’s mathematical riddles and curious wordplay, ingeniously embedded throughout the Alice works, are delightfully decoded and presented in the margins, along with original correspondence, amusing anecdotal detours, and fanciful illustrations by Salvador Dalí, Beatrix Potter, Ralph Steadman, and a host of other famous artists.
Put simply, this anniversary edition of The Annotated Alice is the most comprehensive collection of Alice materials ever published in a single volume. May it serve as a beautiful and enduring tribute to the charming, utterly original “new line of fairy-lore” that Lewis Carroll first spun 150 years ago.
The deluxe anniversary edition of The Annotated Alice includes:
A rare, never-before-published portrait of Francis Jane Lutwidge, Lewis Carroll’s mother
Over 100 new or updated annotations, collected since the publication of Martin Gardner’s Definitive Edition of The Annotated Alice in 1999
More than 100 new illustrations, in vibrant color, by Salvador Dalí, Beatrix Potter, Ralph Steadman, and 42 other artists and illustrators, in addition to the original artwork by Sir John Tenniel
A preface by Mark Burstein, president emeritus of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, and all of Gardner’s introductions to other editions
A filmography of every Alice-related film by Carroll scholar David Schaefer
225 color and black-and-white illustrations
Lewis Carroll is a pseudonym of the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who was born on January 27, 1832, and died on January 14, 1898. His most famous works are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There; and The Hunting of the Snark.
Martin Gardner (1914-2010) is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on Lewis Carroll and his work. The author of more than a hundred books, he wrote the “Mathematical Games” column for Scientific American for twenty-five years and has been hailed by Douglas Hofstadter as “one of the great intellects produced in this country in this century.”
The many works of Sir John Tenniel (1820-1914) include many humorous and political cartoons for Punch and other periodicals of the time, but he is best known for his illustrations of the original editions of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
Buy it on Amazon:
Do you love Alice in Wonderland? What’s your favorite part? Share in the comments below.
MRS N, Book Addict
*** This was the most-viewed post about books on this blog for 2015. I guess a lot of readers love Alice in Wonderland. That makes me feel good. ***