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.Read more...
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 Dali, 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 Dali, 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
A long, strange trip: 150 years of 'Alice'
It’s a story that never goes out of style: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll’s chronicle of an inquisitive girl lost in a parallel world of talking animals and pompous royals, is a tale unlike any other—one that celebrates the complexities of language, the singular genius of children and the absurdity that lurks just beneath the surface of reality.
In honor of the novel’s 150th anniversary, we’ve rounded up a trio of new Alice-related titles, all of which prove that Wonderland still has mysteries well worth exploring.
David Day combines the expertise of an academic with the fervor of a true Alice enthusiast in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Decoded. In a remarkable act of literary excavation, Day exposes the historical references, classical allusions and subtly disguised symbols that he thinks Carroll embedded in the tale of Wonderland as lessons for his protégé, Alice Liddell. Day believes Carroll included these elements to round out the narrow education Alice would’ve received as a female in the Victorian age. It’s an intriguing theory, and he supports it impressively throughout Decoded. The volume includes Carroll’s novel in full, supplemented by Day’s observations as he painstakingly traces the various themes—music and philosophy, mathematics and poetry—that run through Carroll’s narrative, proving along the way that Alice, even as it celebrates the absurd, exhibits airtight logic. Richly illustrated, this is a book Alice addicts will find irresistible.
A WONDERLAND HANDBOOK
No reader should plunge into Wonderland without taking Martin Gardner along as guide. The celebrated Carroll expert published The Annotated Alice in 1960 to great acclaim and popularity—more than a million copies are currently in print. In the intervening decades, Gardner, who died in 2010, continued to pick at the riddles of Wonderland—the numerical enigmas and verbal brainteasers that make the text so perplexing—and his findings are shared in The Annotated Alice: 150th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. This comprehensive volume collects all of Gardner’s notes, his correspondence with Carroll critics and his introductions to previous Alice-related works. Filled with breathtaking illustrations by a wide range of artists, including Beatrix Potter and Salvador Dalí, the book offers invaluable insights into the Victorian mores, literary movements and real-life elements that inform Alice’s adventure, including all manner of Carroll arcana (it seems the writer, like the White Rabbit, had a fixation on gloves). For the latest in Alice analysis, Gardner’s your man.
The Nursery Alice (1890) from The Annotated Alice: 150th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
As he proved in Wicked and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Gregory Maguire is a wiz when it comes to taking a fresh angle on a classic tale and spinning it into a fully formed story—one that lives up to its distinguished lineage. In his new book, After Alice, he works his customary magic, using Carroll’s story as a springboard for his own inventive novel. Maguire casts Alice’s friend Ada (who is mentioned briefly in Carroll’s narrative) as a leading character. When Alice disappears down the rabbit hole, Ada pursues her. In Wonderland, she encounters the usual suspects (including the pipe-smoking Caterpillar and unsettling Cheshire Cat), as well as a number of new—and equally eccentric—inhabitants. Meanwhile, back in the rational world, Charles Darwin, Walter Pater and other Victorian-era personages provide a rich contrast to Ada’s surreal adventures. The blend of fact and fiction results in a magical addition to the literature of Wonderland. Maguire and Alice: It’s a pairing Carroll himself would’ve consecrated.