Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is my “This old Thing”
We know the story: A little girl falls down a rabbit hole and discovers a world of nonsensical and amusing characters. We know the controversial story behind Lewis Carroll and the real Alice. We have probably all have seen at least the Disney movie version. I have seen several live action ones (from Ringo Star as the Mock Turtle, Andrew Lee Potts as Hatter, Phillip Winchester as the Knave and of course, ol’ Johnny Depp) as well. But I had never read the actual book (or books if you include Through the Looking Glass).
I loved how the things I knew were there. But some of the lines I remember were told by different characters or not as annoying (I am afraid as much as I like the caterpillar he can get on my nerves and there is a song about “good advice” I fast forward through if I can). There were parts I knew but had forgotten about (you do not see the baby turned into a pig too often). I was thinking how many of the movies must have combined the two books (Where were the Tweedles?) and how much was “movied” (because I had not/have not read Through the Looking Glass) and is in neither book?
What actually is the most interesting is the story behind the illustrations of John Tenniel. The original wood block prints were thought to be lost. Almost all them were found in 1985 and reproduced here. We have seen others do them (even Arthur Rankin) but to see how they were meant to be is fascinating. I had also expected that the book would be longer somehow. With afterward around 200 pages. And many of those are taken up by full page or almost full-page illustrations.