Archive for April 26th, 2010


Jabberwocky Re-versed

Jabberwocky Re-versed (and other Guinness Versions) by Ronald Barton

Illustrated by John Gilroy

Published in 1935, and printed in Great Britain by John Waddington Limited, Leeds

24 page booklet, “Offered for your entertainment with the compliments of Arthur Guinness, Son and Co., Ltd.”

This series of pamphlets are called “Doctor’s Books” as they were sent to GPs’ surgeries to encourage the drinking of Guinness for medical purposes: very good for nursing mothers for example!

Guinness began doing this in 1933, carried on until World War 2 halted the practice, and they only started again in 1950. The booklets were then produced each year until 1966. They were produced by the advertising agency SH Benson, who made  many of the iconic Guinness ads. This was the second of the booklets that was based on Alice.

Twas grillig, and the City coves

Did scrum and scramble on the pave;

All grimsy were the shopper-droves

In the throat-parched heat-wave.

“Beware of Summer-flop, my son,

The head that aches, the limbs that flag!

Beware of Job-job boredom! Shun

The gloomious Plodder-flag!”

He took his fountain pen in hand;

Long time he toiled, acheiving naught-

Then rested he (and the Secra-tree)

And sat a while in thought

And as in puffish thought he sat,

The Summer-flop, observed by none,

Snalked in and would have knocked him flat-

But then the clock struck one!

Oh welcome chime! Tis Guinness time!

His thirsty lips went smicker-smack!

His langour fled, and clear in head

He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou vanquished Summer-flop?

My son, you know what’s good for you!

Oh glorjous draught!” He leapt, he laughed:

“Give me a Guinness, too!”



Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Stickfiguratively Speaking)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Stickfiguratively Speaking), retold and illustrated by Jamison Odone.

Published by PublishingWorks, 2010. Hardback.

I really like this version- a shortened version of the text is interspersed with Alice’s own (slightly petulant) pronouncements. She’s fab.

From the publishers:

Literary nonsense turns to whimsical imagery with a macabre twist in the pen-and-ink drawings of Jamison Odone. Stick figures have never emoted this much energy as each page brings a certain curiosity to a new light in this deconstruction of Lewis Carroll’s classic. Starkly black and white, these stick characters are as much a quandary as their literary, cartoon and theatre counterparts ever were. Omitting much of the melodic verbiage of the original, STICKFIGURATIVELY SPEAKING creates a simple variation with an exquisitely sophisticated twist that’s already being compared to Edward Gorey.

Jamison Odone himself says:

“This all happened so fast and the drawings and writing became a marathon of work within a three month span of sleepless nights, gallons of coffee and plenty of re-runs of House. I’m quite proud of this book and the series as a whole. Everybody knows the story of Alice and the perfect drawings of John Tenniel, my goal with the first book in the series was to do something completely different from the Victorian eloquence of the Tenniel drawings, and make the story my own. I have done this book with an extreme amount respect for Carroll and Tenniel and I am proud to say that this version of Alice, truly looks like no other.”

He’s on wordpress:

Available on Amazon: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Stickfiguratively Speaking)


John Bull’s Adventures in the Fiscal Wonderland

John Bull’s Adventures in the Fiscal Wonderland by Charles Geake, with 46 illustrations by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould.

Published by Methuen & Co. 1904, first edition hardback. No dust jacket.

The illustrations are caricatures of political figures of the time, and I’m not at all sure who any of them are…

From the preface:

“Our first word must be one of our sincere and appreciative acknowledgments to the Writer and Illustrator of the incomparable Alice Books-to Lewis Carroll, the one man who, if he had only been alive, could have made head or tail of Mr. Chamberlain’s figures, and to Sir John Tenniel, happily still in our midst, even though each succeeding Wednesday no longer brings with it an example of his genius. It will be noticed that in the Fiscal Wonderland one actor has to sustain more than one of the characters of the Alice dramatis personae. Mr. Balfour is not only Humpy Dumpy, but also the March Hare ; Mr. Chamberlain is at once the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and the Knave of the Trial. For this we make no apology, since one man in his time plays many parts, and in this fiscal controversy the time has been as short as the parts have been varied. The Hatter’s riddle (on page 62) as invented had not an answer any more than Lewis Carroll’s original working model, but if an answer be desired, ” Because neither can be obtained from Birmingham” would seem to have the merit of accuracy. In writing and illustrating the Fiscal Wonderland, we do not pretend to having had no settled convictions. But whilst these have not been concealed, we venture to hope that none of the combatants in the Big Fight will find any cause of offence in this new version of the old stories, so much of which now seems only an intelligent anticipation of the present political situation. C. G. F. C. G. January, 1904.”

Bought for me as a thanks by the lovely Michael when he stayed with me for a while.


Round Fairyland with Alice

Round Fairyland with Alice by Brenda Girvin.

Illustrated by W. Lindsay Cable.

Published by Wells Gardner Darton, 1948. First edition thus (originally published 1916 as Round Fairyland with Alice and the White Rabbit). Hardback cloth boards. No dustjacket. 16mo

All the contents and title pages underlined in felt pen, and chapter headings ticked. Shame.
Alice and the White Rabbit tour Fairyland with the ‘Professor’ and learn about the fairies and folklore of England, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. They meet Queen Mab, pixies, mermaids, Red Men and Cluricane.

You can pick it up for under £25 on amazon: Round fairyland with Alice

The illustrations are lovely, and rather variable in style. I’ll try and scan more in, but here’s one for now:

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April 2010
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