Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Alice's Adventures Under Ground: A Facsimile by Lewis Carroll

Alice's Adventures Under Ground: A Facsimile
by Lewis Carroll
Published: British Library (February 15, 2009)

Genre: Fantasy
Hardcover: 92 pages
Rating: 5

Description from the amazon:
Generations of readers have loved and embraced Lewis Carroll’s tale of the little girl who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world of anthropomorphic creatures and absurd croquet matches, but how many can recount the history behind this famous story?

It all began one golden July afternoon in Oxford in 1862, when the three Liddell siblings—Lorina, Edith, and young Alice—set out on a boating trip with two close friends of the family, Robinson Duckworth and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

To keep the children amused, Dodgson spun a tale about an inquisitive young girl and her escapades in a magical underground world, eventually writing it down at his heroine Alice Liddell’s request.

The little book he produced, entitled Alice’s Adventures under Ground, was beautifully bound in morocco leather, illustrated with 37 charming pictures, and given to Alice as an early Christmas present in November of 1864.

Friends and fellow novelists who saw the volume urged Dodgson to publish the book formally, and literary history was made in 1865 when the first of countless best-selling editions rolled off the press.

In this superb facsimile edition of Dodgson’s original manuscript, modern readers can at last enjoy the expressive script and vibrant illustrations of the original, one of the British Library’s most prized possessions.

Perfect for the literary collector, the lover of Alice, or the child at heart, this remarkable volume includes fascinating biographical commentary on Dodgson as well as a recounting of all the stages through which the manuscript passed.

This journey produced a new tale itself, as the manuscript was revised, expanded, and illustrated by Punch cartoonist John Tenniel en route to final publication as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, under Dodgson’s celebrated pen name of Lewis Carroll.

My two bits:
In-a-word: curious

After watching the latest Alice movie, I had to read this book before the book. In reading this classic facsimile version, I found something to note. The flamingoes that Disney movie used for the croquet game with the Queen of Hearts were originally OSTRICHES.

Absolutely loved Carroll's illustrations. He even made text into an illustration when Alice hear's a tale from a mouse in chapter 2. Part of the tale is written in a descending spiral tail-shape.

Definitely a treat to read whereupon you can see why his friends and family urged Carroll for more. For this facsimile is just the flicker of the wonderland tales he later presents to the world.

Read it (it's a quickie) and see the illustrations free at Project Gutenberg. Please note that there is a postscript (notes from Lewis Carroll dedicated to readers) included online that is not in the book.


Did you know that the Cerulean Queen is looking for Alice?

And, she is offering a reward prize for any information regarding the whereabouts of Alice.

Do you dare help the Cerulean Queen or remain faithful to our Alice?

keep her secret

keep her safe


*image source of tail tale from Project Gutenberg

* image source Wanted poster template

* part of Alice in Whatsitland (see schedule)
read my Alice adventure and enter the giveaways which end April 11, 2010

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