Posts Tagged ‘books

05
Oct
12

Alice in Blunderland: an Iridescent Dream

Alice in Blunderland: an Iridescent Dream by John Kendrick Bangs.

Illustrated by Albert Levering.

Published by Doubleday, Page & Company, New York, 1907. Hardback clothbound first edition: no dustjacket. 12mo.

Bangs (1862-1922) was an American writer, essayist and lecturer, and he turns Alice turns into a political satire

Alice travels to Blunderland, where “everything goes just right”: assuming you believe the keepers of the Municipal Home of Children, where all the children live. Appearances by the dormouse, the Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the White Knight.

From Alice in Blunderland:

“Certain of our members claim that they have a right to sell their votes for $500 apiece–”

“Mercy!” cried Alice, “Why, that is–that is terrible.”

“It certainly is,” said the March Hare ruefully, it’s rotten. Here I’ve been holding out for $1,250 for mine, and these duffers want to go in for a cut rate that will absolutely ruin the business.”

There’s a facsimile version available: Alice in Blunderland: An Iridescent Dream

The Mad Hatter talking through his hat.

31
Dec
11

The Philosopher’s Alice

The Philosopher’s Alice: Lewis Carroll with notes and introduction by Peter Heath. Subtitled The Thinking Man’s Guide to a Misunderstood Nursery Classic.

Tenniel illustrations

Published by Academy Editions, London, 1974. Hardcover. First Edition.

Peter Heath was a former president of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Virginia. The book is the original text (both books) with philosophical asides and comments: Heath himself says that the books show “surprising insights into abstract questions of philosophy”. Very interesting stuff: well worth a read.

On the “Raven/ Writing Desk’ riddle:

‘Shibles compares this to the unanswerable questions allegedly asked by Philosophers. But the real objection to it is that it has too many answers, namely all the innumerable negative properties that ravens share with writing desks (by which I suppose he means logical negatives like ‘neither of them have a chimney’). If these do not count then neither does the property of unanswerability which the Hatter’s riddle is supposed to share with the questions of Philosophers.’

On amazon: The Philosopher’s Alice: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

06
Jul
11

The Westminster Alice

The Westminster Alice by Hector H. Monro (“Saki”).

Illustrated by F. Carruthers Gould.

Published by The Westminster Gazette, London, 1902.

Pamphlet with lots of black & white illustrations using Tenniel’s as inspiration, plus four pages of ads at the end of the book: they’re rather fun- Jaeger, Turkish Towels and Pianolas.

Prefaced:

With apologies to Sir John Tenniel and to everybody else concerned, including Messrs. Macmillan and Co., Limited to whose courtesy we are indebted for permission to publish these political applications of the immortal adventures of Lewis Carroll’s Alice.

A collection of 11 pieces satirising parliament and the political events of 1900-1902, when the initial enthusiasm of the public for the Boer War was fading fast and questions were being asked about the government’s  handling of the conflict.

Dwindle, dwindle little war,

How I wonder more and more,

As about the veldt you hop

When you really mean to stop.

The first piece appeared in the Westminster Gazette on 15 July 1900 and the series continued until early 1902. The series proved so popular that the parts were issued together in this pamphlet.

I think mine came from abebooks, but it might have been picked up in Marchpane Books in Cecil Court.

26
Jun
11

Alice and the Space Telescope

Alice and the Space Telescope by Malcolm Longair, with forward by Nobel Prizewinner Riccardo Giacconi. Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.

4to hardcover with dustjacket. First edition.

ISBN: 0-8018-2831-7

The book explains and discusses some of the things going on in astrophysics from the time of the launch of the Hubble telescope, and yet still manages to be funny at the same time.

It makes me think of The Big Bang Theory. I wonder what Sheldon would make of it?

There’s also a rewrite of Jabberwocky, which is always good value… even if the scansion is a little off…

Twas brillig and the slithy toves/Brought plans of telescopes fair to see./ The Jabberwock, he clapped his hands/And said, ‘That’s just for me.

Loads of pictures- some of Tenniel’s, various graphs and scientific diagrams, and photos.

Available via amazon: Alice and the Space Telescope, but mine was a present. Thanks Iain!

15
Jun
11

Alice’s Adventures in Jurisprudencia

Alice’s Adventures in Jurisprudencia by Peter F. Sloss.

Illustrated by Sally Richardson in nice imitation of Tenniel’s style.

Published by Borogrove Press 1982, softback, signed by author.

ISBN: 096082460X

In the book, a modern-day, grown up Alice, is unwinding after a long day at her lawyer’s office when she falls asleep in front of the television, and finds herself in Jurisprudencia, a  wonderland type world filled with some old friends, plus not a few pedantic lawyers. Sloss is an attorney, so I suspect he knows whereof he speaks…

He apparently got the idea after hearing a judge say:

“If words had absolute and constant referents, it might be possible to discover contractual intention in the words themselves and in the manner in which they were arranged. Words, however, do not have absolute and constant referents.”

This reminded him of Humpty’s pronouncement that…

When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master—that’s all.’

There’s an appendix containing cited cases at the back, too…

Amazon: Alice’s adventures in Jurisprudencia

12
Jun
11

alice in thunderland

Alice in Thunderland: A Feminist Fairytale by Maeve Kelly. Published 1993 by Attic. ?First edition paperback? ISBN: 1-85594-081-7

Cover illustration by Trina Mahon.

Alice (a native of Harmony land) travels through Thunderland, run by the memblies. They rule over the femblies, who don’t ask questions, and believe that too much thinking makes your brain turn to feathers…

My copy has a biro dedication on first page, and also a bookcrossing label inside as it was a gift from a bookcrossing friend. Thanks, Esther!

I do love the front cover with the Alice in DMs. Good choice for tromping about in an alternative world, I reckon.

Available on amazon: Alice in Thunderland (Fairytales for Feminists)

05
Jun
11

Alice in Rankbustland/ Lost in the Bungle

Lost in the Bungle, with apologies to Lewis Carroll. With an introduction by the Hon. John C. Knox.

Author Edwin M. Otterbourg.

Published in 1933 by Country Life Press. 8vo, hardback black cloth stamped in gilt. No dustjacket.

This edition is titled as Lost in the Bungle but it includes the earlier Rankbustland (1923) as an appendix.

Edwin M. Otterbourg, a trial and appellate lawyer with had a particular interest in legal ethics, co-founded the firm of Otterbourg Steindler & Houston in New York City in 1909.

This is apparently “A satire on alleged abuses in the administration of the American Bankruptcy act”, but I’m not sure what that means…

05
Jun
11

Alice in Plunderland

Alice in Plunderland by Bernard Benson.

Subtitled:

A Down to Earth Book for Politicians and Economists… and Especially Their “Clients”. That is All of Us…

Published by The Minstrel Publishing Company 1978. Hardback with dustjacket.

Signed and numbered 1,475 of 5,000.

According to the cover notes, the book:

spreads out before our eyes a lucid picture of the world which we and our leaders between us have created.

..but I can’t possibly comment as I haven’t managed to wade through it. It’s all done in 4 colour cartoons with handwritten text, and seems to be ‘Alice does politics’. I haven’t even managed to read enough to decide what sort of politics it is.

Bought via abebooks, where all the current copies seem to be in Germany. You might be lucky and find on on amazon: Alice in Plunderland

18
May
11

A Looking Glass Sequel

A Looking Glass Sequel by Cathy Bowern after Lewis Carroll.

Illustrated by Brian Puttock after Sir John Tenniel: 50 drawings.

Published by Angerona, 1993. Black leatherette with dustjacket. 8vo, 176pp.

Limited to 100 copies? Signed by author.

ISBN 10: 0952250500

From the back of dust jacket:

“In this adventure events happen in reverse order to the original story– according to the moves of a very bizarre chessgame– a mirror reflection of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the looking-glass’ (itself a mirror reflection!)”

The same Isle of Wight based author and illustrator combination have produced “The Hunting of the Snark Concluded”.

Available at an enormous price on amazon: Looking-Glass Sequel

Mine was rather cheaper from Stella and Rose.

16
May
11

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




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