Libr280 Book Study: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
“Alices Adventures in Wonderland” Fawn Russell LIBR280 Spring 2012 Book Study
Sign of the Times (1867) Womens right to vote (suffrage) at its height in England; Alice portrayed as a heroine is a reflection of the new roles of late Victorian women. Beginning of Industrial Revolution; topsy-turvy world where social roles and professions were rapidly changing. Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated for a second term in America and also assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. Abolition of slavery has already been established in England and now America.
Background: Author Originally published as “Alices Adventures Underground” in 1865 by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ( January 27th, 1832 – January 14th, 1898) with his own illustrations. His pen name, Lewis Carroll, was created based on the authors name translated into Latin; Lutwidge = Ludovic = Louis, Charles = Carolus. Dodgson was a well published mathematician at Oxford University, inventor, and avid amateur photographer. Made up the story for the Liddle sisters during a weekend by the river in Oxford; befriended many little girls.
Background: Illustrator The original illustrator for Dodgsons “Alice” books in 1866 and 1870; John Tenniel (February 28th, 1820 – February 25th, 1914). Well known political cartoonist, social commentary Was unhappy with the first publishings quality; all 2000 books were shelved whilst the next book was a best seller.
Background: Post-humous Illustrator An American cartoonist, Peter Newell (March 5th, 1862 – January 15th, 1924) illustrated the 1901 edition. Published regularly in several magazines and for other authors, including Mark Twain and Stephen Crane. His response when asked by Harper & Brothers to update the classic: “...the kindness with which the public has received my other work, together with the encouragement of certain friends (to whom the inception of this undertaking is due) has inspired the hope in me that this more serious effort will not be altogether unwelcome."
The Details 1901 edition published by Harper & Brothers Publishers, located in New York and London. Hard cover is made from covered boards which are stamped and gilted with gold; slightly worn off with impression of Alice on the cover having no embellishing left. The pages are laid out 4 up and are untrimmed along all three edges. Contains an introduction written by E.S. Martin explaining the updated edition in pages i-xvii; 193 pages long and 22 cm
Title Page Octavo, juxtaposed to a portrait of the author, separated by protective tissue paper. Popular copperplate Gothic script used throughout the whole of the text. Bound with sewing threads to spine on all text pages; illustrated pages glued in.
The Text Greenish border around the black text on every page created by Robert Murray Wright; animal motif changes according to the chapter. Incipit: “All in the golden afternoon Full leisurely we glide; For both our oars, with little skill, By little arms are plied, While little hands make vain pretense Our wanderings to guide.” Explicit: “Lady, dear, if Fairies may For a moment lay aside, Cunning tricks and elfish play,Tis at happy Christmas-tide.”
Illustrations Tenniels version (left) had woodcuts used in the process of printing, whereas Newells (right) illustrations were created with modern halftone printing.
Literary Reflections“The Caucus RaceIn England the term caucus referred to a system of highly disciplined partyorganization by committees. It was often used as an abusive term for theorganization of an opposing party. With the term causus race Carroll may havepoked fun at the committees, as committee members generally did a lot ofrunning around in circles while they were getting nowhere.The Cheshire Cat"To grin like a Cheshire Cat" was a common phrase in Carroll’s day. Its origin isnot known. However, it could have originated from a sign painter in Cheshire,who painted grinning lions on the sign-boards of inns in the area.The Mad HatterMad as a hatter’ probably owes its origin to the fact that hatters actually did gomad, because the mercury they used sometimes gave them mercurypoisoning.”(source: The website aliceinwonderland.net, Lennys Alice In Wonderland Site)
Bibliography“Alices Adventures in Wonderland”, Internet Archive. Web. 22 April, 2012.http://archive.org/details/alicesadventures00carr2“Lennys Alice in Wonderland Site”. Web. 22 April, 2012. http://www.alice-in-wonderland.netLittle, Judith (1976) “Liberated Alice: Dodgsons female as domestic rebel”. Womens Studies, Vol. 3, pp 195-205.“Peter Newell, American Comic Illustrator”, Nonsenslit.org. Web. 22 April, 2012.http://www.nonsenselit.org/content/view/88/79/Wheat, Andrew R. (Winter 2009) “Dodgsons dark deceit: evoking the allegorical lineage of Alice”. Renascence, 61.2, pp 103-123.