Posts Tagged ‘alice spoof


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


Alice in Welfareland

Alice in Welfareland by Christopher Gilmore.

Cover illustration by Alex Jackson.

Paperback published by Robin Books, 2007.

ISBN-10: 1904843328

ISBN-13: 978-1904843320

From the publisher/ author:

1984! Curious Alice, lost in a forest, falls down a rabbit-hole at Warren Row. Saved before Humpty Dumpty’s fall and an apparent nuclear accident Alice, to stretch herself, encourages many alarming adventures under ground.

Nothing is as it seems. Even though some of the quaint characters suggest the original Lewis Carroll, others sit within spitting (image) distance of well-known personages in the Blue Dome. With The Queen, Margaret Thatcher, Hitler and the Boss of Ofsted as Humpty Dumpty…!

State welfare shortcomings are parodied as are the hippy ideals of the Survivalists in their reclaimed nuclear bunkers. Alice is challenged by the sub-terrestrial squatters. Also by the psychic Humphrey, the plump computer buff for whom she falls. Together, they try to outwit the wicked Police Commissioner before he grabs the Vril Rod of Power held by King Kal of the Underworld, in Rainbow Mountain.

Breathless safaris in and out of time and space flourish as different forms of Alice are chased by giant eye-less Grossocks, battered by Pubes, mangled by an astral Alchemist, befriended by dwarfs in the Flying Flute, entombed in a shrinking Pyramid, the final battle raging around the helpless Alice.

Warfare finally confronts Welfare as the Scars V Saffs try to annihilate each other, augmented by earthquakes, radiation leaks and occult weapons. Will Alice and Humphrey make it? And before Alice, the amazing Time Traveler, meets her stam-m-ering little girl admirer, that tall storyteller on Oxford’s riverbank, Charles L. Dodgson…?

Further effervescent questions are explored in this exciting and funny new novel faction.

Christopher Gilmore’s website here.
Available on Amazon: Alice in Welfareland


Alec’s Adventures in Railwayland

Alec’s adventures in Railwayland by L. T. C. Rolt Published 1964 by Ian Allan (London).

Lionel Thomas Caswall Rolt (1910–1974) was the biographer of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Thomas Telford. He was an enthusiast for both vintage cars and heritage railways.

This is a satirical look at Dr. Beeching’s reforms written as an Alice sequel.  A very sweet little pamphlet of a book, with illustrations by Margaret Calvert.

New characters include:

  • Alec- the adventurer
  • The Mad Porter
  • The Dip Tech
  • The Pro
  • The Graphon
  • The Icy King
  • Familiar characters include the Tweedles and the Dormouse.

    46 pages, softback, stapled.
    Sometimes available on amazon: Alec’s adventures in Railwayland


    Alice in Blunderland

    Alice in Blunderland: How to Save Billions of Dollars Without Even Trying by Jack Anderson with John Kidner.

    Illustrations by Tom Ramey.

    Published by Acropolis Books Inc (April 1983). Hardback first edition with dustjacket. It’s an old library copy so has assorted stamps and stickers.

    ISBN: 0874914485

    From the dustjacket:

    Join modern day Alice in her zany misadventures in Blunderland (aka Washington, D.C.) as she meets bizarre bureaucrats and discovers the true meaning of the acronyms that enshroud us all.

    Jack Northman Anderson (1922 – 2005) was an American newspaper columnist, considered one of the fathers of modern investigative journalism. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972.

    Here’s Alice meeting the Official Wordsmith:

    Available on Amazon: Alice in Blunderland (paperback)


    alice in candyland

    Alice in Candyland, with apologies to Lewis Carroll.

    No credit for author or illustrations.


    Advertising pastiche for Lowney’s candies. Red and black illustrations. Stapled pamphlet.

    Lowney’s began in the US in the late 1800s, moved to Canada in the 1960s, and was later bought out by Hershey’s Chocolates. This is a Canadian advertising pamphlet for the brand and mentions products such as Cherry Blossom, Cracker Jack, and Oh Henry! (Really Big). Blimey. Alice visits the factory in Sherbrooke, Quebec and learns how choclolate is made.

    Alice took a step forward and gasped. The floor was soft, white and springy.

    “Made from Angelus TenderWhip Marshmallows”, said the rabbit, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

    Bought from Canada from the really friendly and charming Stephen Temple Books.


    Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland

    Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland by George Gamov.

    Published by Cambridge University Press.

    This copy 1950: but first published 1940.

    8vo hardback with dustjacket.

    Illustrations by John Hookham.

    The physicist George Gamow uses the adventures of Mr. Tompkins to explain modern scientific theories to a popular audience.

    The book is structured as a series of dreams in which Mr Tompkins enters alternate worlds where the physical constants have radically different values from those they have in the real world. This results in the counterintuitive results of the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics becoming obvious in everyday life.

    Mr Tompkins’ adventures begin when he chooses to spend the afternoon of a day’s holiday attending a lecture on the theory of relativity. The lecture proves less comprehensible than he had hoped and he drifts off to sleep and enters a dream world in which the speed of light is a mere 30 miles an hour. This becomes apparent to him through the fact that passing cyclists are subject to a noticeable Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction:

    The hands of the big clock on the tower down the street were pointing almost to noon and the streets were nearly empty.

    A single cyclist was coming slowly down the street and, as he approached, Mr Tompkins’ eyes opened wide with astonishment. For the bicycle and the young man on it were unbelievable flattened in the direction of the motion…

    The clock on the tower struck twelve, and the cyclist, evidently in a hurry, stepped harder on the pedals.

    Mr Tompkins did not notice that he gained much in speed, but, as the result of his effort, he flattened still more and went down the street looking exactly like a picture cut out of cardboard.

    Then, Mr Tompkins felt very proud because he could understand what was happening to the cyclist– it was simply the contraction of moving bodies about which he had just learned.

    “Evidently nature’s speed limit is lower here,” he concluded, “that is why the bobby on the corner looks so lazy, he need not watch for speeders.”

    G. Gamow says:

    In the winter of 1938 I wrote a short, scientifically fantastic story (not a science fiction story) in which I tried to explain to the layman the basic ideas of the theory of curvature of space and the expanding universe. I decided to do this by exaggerating the actually existing relativistic phenomena to such an extent that they could easily be observed by the hero of the story, C. G. H. Tompkins, a bank clerk interested in modern science.

    I sent the manuscript to Harpers Magazine and, like all beginning authors, got it back with a rejection slip. The other half-a-dozen magazines which I tried followed suit. So I put the manuscript in a drawer of my desk and forgot about it.

    During the summer of the same year, I attended the International Conference of Theoretical Physics, organized by the League of Nations in Warsaw. 1 was chatting over a glass of excellent Polish mind with my old friend Sir Charles Darwin, the grandson of Charles (The Origin of Species) Darwin, and the conversation turned to the popularization of science. I told Darwin about the bad luck I had had along this line, and he said: ‘Look, Gamow, when you get back to the United States dig up your manuscript and send it to Dr C. P. Snow, who is the editor of a popular scientific magazine Discovery published by the Cambridge University Press.’

    So I did just this, and a week later came a telegram from Snow saying: ‘Your article will be published in the next issue. Please send more.’ Thus a number of stories on Mr Tompkins, which popularized the theory of relativity and the quantum theory, appeared in subsequent issues of Discovery. Soon thereafter I received a letter from the Cambridge University Press, suggesting that these articles, with a few additional stories to increase the number of pages, should be published in book form. The book, called Mr Tompkins in Wonderland, was published by Cambridge University Press in 1940 and since that time has been reprinted sixteen times. This book was followed by the sequel, Mr Tompkins Explores the Atom, published in 1944 and by now reprinted nine times. In addition, both books have been translated into practically all European languages and also into Chinese and Hindi.

    Chapter headings:

    1. City Speed Limit
    2. The Professor’s Lecture on Relativity which caused Mr Tompkins’s dream
    3. Mr Tompkins takes a holiday
    4. The Professor’s Lecture on Curved Space Gravity and the Universe
    5. The Pulsating Universe
    6. Cosmic Opera
    7. Quantum Billiards
    8. Quantum Jungles
    9. Maxwell’s Demon
    10. The Gay Tribe of Electrons
    10.5. A Part of the Previous Lecture which Mr Tompkins slept through
    12. Inside the Nucleus
    13. The Woodcarver
    14. Holes in Nothing
    15. Mr Tompkins Tastes a Japanese Meal

    Bought in Marchpane for £30, available as a modern reprint on amazon: Mr. Tompkins


    Alitji in the Dreamtime

    Alitji in the Dreamtime: a re-telling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland story by Nancy Sheppard using Australian Aborigine language and imagery: the white rabbit has become a kangaroo and the dormouse is now a koala.

    The story is told in the Pitjantjatjara language of Central Australia ( and is back-translated into English alongside.

    The illustrations by Byron Sewell are rather beautifully printed in brown ink: far more elegant than black, especially on the grey-brown of the paper.

    Published in 1975 by the University of Adelaide, and available from various sellers on Amazon: Alitji on Amazon

    More equivalences:

    • the fan becomes a woomera
    • the caterpillar becomes a witchety grub
    • the Duchess becomes the Spirit of the North Wind
    • the Mad Hatter and the March Hare become a Stockman and a Horse
    • Croquet is played with storks and echindnas

    I think this is one of my favourite alternative Alice stories: the tale is well told, the rhymes and verses stand up well and the illustrations are beautiful. It works well as a book on its own merits, and it adds dimensions to the original story. Recommended.


    Alice in Quantumland

    Alice in Quantumland by Robert Gilmore. Illustrations by author.

    Published by Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1995. Paperback.

    ISBN: 0387914951

    The landscape of Quantum Physics is explored by sending Alice to Quantumland, where each character she encounters explains a different aspect of quantum theory. Includes sections on the Uncertainty Principle, wave functions and the Pauli Principle. Even I understood some of it. Briefly.

    From the publisher’s notes:

    Alice falls through the screen of her television set and finds herself in Quantumland. This is a place where she encounters unusual characters who demonstrate to her the basics of quantum physics.

    • She meets electrons, whose positions must be uncertain unless they are moving rapidly
    • She visits the Heisenberg Bank and sees particles get short term energy loans
    • She talks to the Uncertain Accountant who cannot make his books balance because of energy fluctuations.
    • She meets the Quantum and Classical Mechanics at the Mechanic’s Institute and sees demonstrations of interference in their Gedanken room.
    • At the Fermi Bose Academy she is told how the Pauli Principle deals with hundreds of identical electron students.
    • From the Mendeleev Pier she explores the energy levels within an atom.
    • She visits Castle Rutherford, the home of the nuclear Family.
    • The three Quark Brothers explain the composition of strongly interacting particles at the Particle MASSquerade.

    Available on amazon here.


    Our Trip to Blunderland (1877 edition)

    Our Trip to Blunderland by Jean Jambon (John Hay Athol Macdonald).

    There are 60 illustrations by Charles Doyle.

    Published by William Blackwood and Sons, 1877. Hardback, second edition.

    Charles Doyle was a civil servant, but also worked as an illustrator throughout his life. As well as Our Trip to Blunderland, he contributed illustrations to the Illustrated Times, London Society, and The Graphic.

    He was the father of Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

    The book describes the Blunderland adventures of three little boys, and starts:

    Norval, Jaques, and Ranulf) had been reading all about Alice, and the strange, funny things she saw and did when fast asleep.

    ” I wonder,” said Jaques, ” if I could ever get to sleep like her, so as to walk through looking-glasses, and that sort of thing, without breaking them or coming up against the wall ! “

    ” Oh,” said Ranulf, ” wouldn’t it be nice if we could ! only the funniest thing is how she got through the wall. I don’t see how being asleep would help her to do that.”

    Norval, the eldest, broke in ” Oh, you big stupid! she didn’t go through it; she only thought she did.”

    ” Well, then,” said Jaques, ” I want to think it too. Last night when I was in bed I tried to go to sleep, and to get through the wall ; but when I fell asleep I forgot all about it, and dreamed that I was sick, and that the doctor gave me a big glass of something horrid.”

    ” Ah, but,” said Norval, ” that was because you tried. Alice didn’t try, you know. She knew nothing about being asleep till she woke up.”

    ” Well, I didn’t know I was asleep till I woke up, either,” answered Jaques.

    Ranulf looked very wise, although he was the smallest, and said, “Perhaps if Alice was here, she would tell us how to do it.”

    ” Of course I would,” said a sweet voice behind them ; and, turning round, who should they see but little Alice herself, looking exactly as she does on page 35, where she is getting her thimble from the Dodo.

    You can read the full text here.

    Most of the original editions are pretty expensive, but there is a modern reprint available. I got lucky with this copy.

    Reprint on Amazon: Blunderland


    The Campaign Alice

    The Campaign Alice, or through the election booth & how she lost her innocence by Jim Quinn.

    Illustrated by Mike Kanarak.

    Published 1971 by Mixed Media, Philadelphia. Small paperback.

    A political satire of the Nixon era. He’s the only one I recognise from the illustrations.

    This one is rather odd: some of the drawings verge on the pornographic (only verge, so don’t rush out to buy a copy if you’re that way inclined), and there’s an exchange where Alice thinks the Red King is about to rape her. Hmmmm.

    Cheap and cheerful on abebooks.

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    He's so cute.



    No wonder Ian looked shocked.

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