Archive for May 21st, 2011

21
May
11

ArchEnemy

ArchEnemy by Frank Beddor. Cover art by Vance Kovacs.

Third part of the Looking Glass Wars trilogy.

Published by Dial Books (part of Penguin), 2009.

ISBN: 9780803731561

Hardback first edition with dustjacket.

The premise of the series is that the books as written by Lewis Carroll are a distortion of the ‘true events’. Alyss Heart (Alice Liddell) is actually the Princess of Wonderland: forced to flee to the real world when her sociopathic Aunt Redd takes over the throne. The white rabbit becomes Alyss’s (Alice’s) tutor, Bibwit Harte (an anagram), and the Mad Hatter is Hatter Madigan, the royal bodyguard.

From the publisher’s blurb:

Discover the fate of Wonderland- and imagination itself- in this riveting conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy.

The Heart Crystal’s power has been depleted, and Imagination along with it. The people of Wonderland have all lost their creative drive, and most alarmingly, even Queen Alyss is without her powers. There is some comfort in the fact that the vicious Redd Heart seems to be similarly disabled. Amazingly, she is attempting to team up with her enemy, Alyss, in order to reclaim Wonderland from King Arch. Alyss might have no choice but to accept Redd’s overtures, especially when she begins to receive alarming advice from the caterpillar oracles.

I’m not overly keen on this series: the writing style isn’t to my taste, but they seem to be hugely popular, and I believe that a film is planned…

Available on Amazon: ArchEnemy (Looking Glass Wars)

21
May
11

Jack the Ripper: “Light Hearted Friend”

Jack the Ripper: “Light Hearted Friend” by Richard Wallace.

Published 1996 by Gemini Press. Softback.

ISBN: 0962719560

Provides ‘proof’ that Dodgson was Jack the Ripper. Funniest thing I’ve read in years: it’s genuinely dreadful.

According to the theory, hidden passages such as, ‘She wriggled about so! But at last Dodgson and Bayne found a way to keep hold of the fat little whore’ can be made by rearrangement of letters in the Alice and the Sylvie and Bruno texts. I suspect that you can make what you like given enough letters to choose from, a theory rather supported by Francis Heaney and Guy Jacobson who came up with an anagram of part of the book- here’s the original text:

This is my story of Jack the Ripper, the man behind Britain’s worst unsolved murders. It is a story that points to the unlikeliest of suspects: a man who wrote children’s stories. That man is Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, author of such beloved books as Alice in Wonderland.

And the anagram:

The truth is this: I, Richard Wallace, stabbed and killed a muted Nicole Brown in cold blood, severing her throat with my trusty shiv’s strokes. I set up Orenthal James Simpson, who is utterly innocent of this murder. P.S. I also wrote Shakespeare’s sonnets, and a lot of Francis Bacon’s works too.

Wiki link here.

The reviews on amazon are worth reading too. They’re right it only merits one star as a serious work, but it’s just so ridiculous that you can’t take it seriously…

21
May
11

“Read Me” Leaflet: Brighton reads Alice in Wonderland

Read me: Leaflet advertising the Brighton City read to celebrate Penguin’s 70th anniversary in 2005.

8 pages of quotes, information and trivia. I do like the Warholesque cover.

From the City-wide reading initiative website:

Going underground! Brighton and Hove burrows into the most curious book of the 19th century: Between March and May, The Word in collaboration with Brighton Festival and other local organizations, is encouraging the whole city to read the first children’s book with a crossover appeal to adults – Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. Carroll was a frequent visitor to Brighton from 1864 to 1887, staying with his old Christ Church friend the Reverend Henry Barclay at 11 Sussex Square and, in 1887 he watched the stage version of Alice being performed at the Theatre Royal. He is said to have got inspiration for the rabbit hole from a small underground tunnel running down to the sea in Brighton.

21
May
11

Adolf in Blunderland

Adolf in Blunderland, by James Dyrenforth and Max Kester.

Illustrated by Norman Mansbridge.

Published by Frederick Muller 1939.

First edition. 8vo, in pictorial boards. No dust jacket.

Based on the authors’ radio play produced by the BBC.

The front cover shows Neville Chamberlain as the caterpillar, looking down from the mushroom on Hitler as a small boy. Plenty of other illustrations.

Norman Mansbridge was born in Wanstead (a local boy!) on 22nd July 1911. He attended Heatherley’s School of Art in London and spent his first professional years working in advertising before becoming a freelance cartoonist, contributing his first drawing to Punch Magazine in 1937. In September 1955 he became the only cartoonist to have had eight colour pages in a single issue of Punch.

He died in 1993.

Bought on abebooks for £25. There are usually a few around on Amazon too: Adolf in Blunderland




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