Archive for March, 2010


Sherlock Holmes and the Alice in Wonderland Murders

Sherlock Holmes and the Alice in Wonderland Murders by Barry Day.

Published by Second Opinion Inc, 1998. Paperback. No illustrations.

ISBN: 0953765938

Pastiche Sherlock Holmes adventure with an Alice-y twist. The author has written several Holmes stories: they’re all on Amazon: Barry Day

From the cover:

1898. Holmes and Watson encounter American newspaper magnate, John Moxton, whose yellow press Clarion is beginning to dominate and undermine Victorian England. Public figures are humiliated then murdered. Each incident has a parallel in Alice in Wonderland. And each time the Clarion is conveniently on hand. What is Moxton’s master plan and can Homes and Waston unravel it in time? And what is the strange bond that links the detective to a man he has never met… or has he?


Alice in Many Tongues

Alice in Many Tongues: The Translations of Alice in Wonderland by Warren Weaver.

Published by the University of Wisconsin Press, 1964.

Hardback first edition with dust jacket.

Warren Weaver was a civil engineer and mathematician who studied at the University of Wisconsin. He was a pioneer of machine translation.

There is a history of translations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and a bibliography at the back of all the foreign editions that Weaver was able to locate.

My favorite part is the chapter “How can Alice be Translated” which looks at the ‘quality’ of the a few versions by examining the way the nonsense, puns and logical jokes in the Mad Hatter’s Tea-Party are handled. I’ve always wondered how translations ‘work’, so that bit is really fascinating. Some translations handle things rather better than others…

There are some pictures of some of the versions: including Hebrew, Swedish, Swahili, Bengali and Thai.

Bought in the bookshop on Curzon Street with the Nancy Mitford blue plaque.

There’s a reprint available on amazon: Alice in Many Tongues: The Translations of Alice in Wonderland


Alice in Blunderland

Alice in Blunderland by Scott Adams

Published by Boxtree Ltd, 1999

Teeny weeny little hardback.

ISBN: 0752217372

No real Alice connection apart from the title: it’s a collection of Dilbert cartoons featuring the short tempered engineer Alice. She’s my hero.


The Wallypug of Why

The Wallypug of Why by G.E. Farrow.

Illustrated by Harry Furness with vignettes by Dorothy Furness (Harry’s daughter, who was only 15 at the time).

Hardback first edition, published by Hutchinson, 1895.

The Alice connection seems rather tenuous at first look, but the synopsis of “Alternative Alices” by Carolyn Sigler says:

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1871) are among the most enduring works in the English language. In the decades following their publication, writers on both sides of the Atlantic produced no fewer than two hundred imitations, revisions, and parodies of Carroll’s fantasies for children. Carolyn Sigler has gathered the most interesting and original of these responses to the Alice books, many of them long out of print. Produced between 1869 and 1930, these works trace the extraordinarily creative, and often critical, response of diverse writers. These writers — male and female, radical and conservative — appropriated Carroll’s structures, motifs, and themes in their Alice-inspired works in order to engage in larger cultural debates. Their stories range from Christina Rossetti’s angry subversion of Alice’s adventures, Speaking Likenesses (1874), to G.E. Farrow’s witty fantasy adventure, The Wallypug of Why (1895), to Edward Hope’s hilarious parody of social and political foibles, Alice in the Delighted States (1928). Anyone who has ever followed Alice down the rabbit hole will enjoy the adventures of her literary siblings in the wide Wonderland of the human imagination.

It certainly has an Alice-y feel: little girl falls asleep and meets fantastical creatures in a dream-world, and it’s a lovely thing with plenty of illustrations by one of Carroll’s many interpreters.

This is G.E. Farrow’s first book, but he went on to write more than thirty, including several Wallypug sequels.

Bought in Sotheran’s Fine Books, which is well worth a visit if you’re a booky person. It’s fab.


Illustrated by John Vernon Lord

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by John Vernon Lord.

Published by Artists Choice Editions, 2009. Hardback with illustrated boards. First edition, limited: signed by the artist, and numbered 89/348.

ISBN: 9780955834318

John Vernon Lord has said:

I tackled everything that came my way. I carried out portraits of company directors for their retirement dinner menu covers, buildings for brochures, strip cartoons, maps and humorous drawings for advertisements….gardens and their plants, vegetables, mazes, refrigerators, dishwashers, totem poles, kitchen utensils, resuscitation diagrams, all kinds of furniture, typewriters, agricultural crop spraying machines, door locks, folded towels, decorative letters, Zodiac signs, animals….When you are a student there is a tendency at first to limit yourself to draw only what you like drawing. This of course ultimately shackles you and limits your repertoire …(it) narrows the margin of what you are able to depict in an image and consequently stifles imagination and ideas.

You can really see the result of this in the illustrations for this book: there are visual puns and hidden pictures everywhere. Look at the front cover- it illustrates the passage where the dormouse is telling the story of the three girls living in the treacle well:

The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and was going off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Hatter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: `–that begins with an M, such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and muchness– you know you say things are “much of a muchness”–did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?’

Lord has drawn the moon and a muchness: an infinity sign, and mousetraps, and two versions of memory: a knot- and the seahorse shaped hippocampus.

I also like the fact that all the illustrations are sen through Alice’s eyes: she doesn’t appear in them: we just see what she sees…

Lovely book, and highly recommended despite the pretty price tag… Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


Alice in Wonderland: Ultimate Sticker Book

Disney Alice in Wonderland: Ultimate Sticker Book.

Published by Dorling Kindersley, 2010. Softback, first edition.

ISBN: 978-1405352710

Tie-in book for the Tim Burton Disney film.

Product Description:

Watch your child get stuck into Alice in Wonderland Over 60 colourful stickers and amazing scenes straight from Tim Burton’s, Alice in Wonderland means kids can discover all about their favourite magical characters. Watch as they create their own incredible adventures, then peel stickers off to use again and again. And if they still want more, there are lots of cool facts about Alice in Wonderland to amaze their friends with. Hours of wonderful, sticky fun.

I’m feeling a bit ‘meh’ about this one, but I knew that if I failed to buy the film tie-ins now for cheap, I’d likely be buying them for expensive in a few years time… ah, the pain of the collector.

Very much available on amazon: Alice in Wonderland Ultimate Sticker Book (Disney Alice in Wonderland)


Illustrated by Tove Jansson

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Illustrated by Tove Jansson.

ISBN: 0440000750 or 0440000696

Published by Delacorte Press. My copy- second printing, 1978. The illustrations in colour and in black and white are copyright 1966, same as me 😉

Hardback with dustjacket.

Tove Jansson is, of course, best known for the Moomins, who are currently undergoing something of a revival. I suspect that’s partly why this book comes up quite expensive.

Jansson was born and died in Helsinki: 1914 and 2001. I’ll let you decide which date is which. She’s also illustrated the Snark, but I’ve yet to find that one.

You can see all the illustrations here. I love the use of the Lewis Chessmen as models for the King and Queen of Hearts.

Bought from Oxfam via Amazon for £40 or so. Still some copies on there: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


Ann in the Moon

Ann in the Moon by Frances D. Francis.

Illustrated by Alan Aldridge.

Published by Bancroft, London, 1970. Hardback, 1st edition. No dustjacket, but I assume it never had one, seeing as the frontcover still has the old price label stuck to it. (21/- or £1.05, in case you’re wondering…)

This book is an example of how confusing and confounding and surprising collecting Alice books can be: I have discovered most of my books by stumbling across them in shops or jumble sales; or by searching the various bookselling internet sites for ‘alice spoof‘, ‘alice parody‘, or any puns I can think of on ‘Wonderland’.
So where the hell do you start when the book is called ‘Ann in the Moon’?

I only came across this when a bookseller I had purchased from before mentioned it to me. And I love it. I’m not even sure exactly what makes it an Alice book, but the pictures certainly help:

I knew Alan Aldridge’s stuff well as a child: I loved Butterfly Ball and the Beatles pictures.  There’s a wiki page on him here if you want to know more about him.

Frances D. Francis, however, is more of a mystery. If anyone knows anything about her, I’d love to hear it….

On amazon: Ann in the Moon


Alice in Rainforest Land

The New Adventures of Alice in Rainforest Land by Nadine Amadio

Illustrations by Charles Blackman.

Published by PIC, 1988. Hardback with dustjacket.

ISBN: 0949284076

Alice goes Green:

“Where to” asked the White Rabbit suspiciously. “To Australia!” said Alice triumphantly.

Alice, the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat visit a wonderland version of Australia. Here they find an ancient forest where the Echidna, the Platypus and the Floral Butterfly live in harmony with The Guardian, an enormous tree. This world is in trouble (sound familiar?) as someone is chopping down the trees…

Bought from Stella and Rose Books.
Available on amazon: The New Adventures Of Alice In Rainforest Land


Wonderland Revisited and the Games Alice Played There

Wonderland Revisited and the Games Alice Played There by Keith Sheppard.

Illustrations by Cynthia Brownell.

Published by Evertype, 2009.

From the cover:

“Excuse me,” said Alice to a small white Mouse in red shorts. “What precisely is a custard race?”

Did Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass leave you yearning for more? Join Alice on her new journey and meet the extraordinary inhabitants of Wonderland, both familiar and new.

If your bed turned into a boat and you found yourself “drifting off” in an entirely unexpected manner how would you find your way home? The Jack of Diamonds says it’s Alice’s own fault for being fast asleep—had she slept more slowly she wouldn’t be so far from home.

The Red Queen, the Mah-jong Dragons, even the Red King’s Gamekeeper, all seem helpful enough at first—but things never quite turn out the way Alice hopes!

Brimming with wordplay, nonsense verse, and a cast of eccentric characters each with their own peculiar logic, this adventure is faithful to the style of the originals, picking up the pen where Lewis Carroll put it down. Be swept away on a torrent of humour and madness. Alice is back!

Available on Amazon: Wonderland Revisited and the Games Alice Played There

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March 2010
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