Archive for May, 2010


Toys from Alice

Toys from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Vogue-Knit Series No. 68. Small 4to.

Published by Conde Nast Publications. Not sure of the date, but priced in shillings, so must be 1960s, I’d guess…

Booklet of patterns for sewing Alice themed toys.

Includes the Walrus, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Frog-Footman, Humpty-Dumpty, The Hatter, the White Queen, the White Knight and a flamingo.

If I could sew, I’d give it a go myself.


Illustrated by Gavin L. O’Keefe

Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Gavin L. O’Keefe.

Published by Ramble House, 2010. Hardback

ISBN: 978-1605434322

Gavin O’Keefe is an Australian illustrator. The pictures are suitably surrealistic black and white drawings, and don’t suffer from the usual problem of just being tooooo influenced by Tenniel.

From the cover:

Originally published in 1872, Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through The Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There’ takes us on a very different journey to Alice’s previous excursion into Wonderland. In ‘Looking-Glass,’ Alice passes through the mirror into a world of chess-people, curious school-boys, a living egg, sentient and loquacious flowers, and a host of other strange and fantastic creatures.

Alice is immediately given an evolving role in a game of chess being played out across the whole of the Looking-Glass world. As she travels through a landscape which at times defies the ‘normal’ laws of nature, she encounters characters who challenge her experience and perception. This world of ‘nonsense’ ultimately offers Alice, and the reader, insights into the ‘normal’ world.

Available on amazon: Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There


Alex’s Adventures in Numberland

Alex’s Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos.

Published by Bloomsbury, 2010. Hardback.

ISBN: 978-0747597162

Not really an Alice, but a mixture of maths and anecdote. Perfect for the small innumerate subset of geekery which includes myself.

Product Description:

In this richly entertaining and accessible book, Alex Bellos explodes the myth that maths is best left to the geeks. Covering subjects from adding to algebra, from set theory to statistics, and from logarithms to logical paradoxes, he explains how mathematical ideas underpin just about everything in our lives. Alex explains the surprising geometry of the 50p piece, and the strategy of how best to gamble it in a casino. He shines a light on the mathematical patterns in nature, and on the peculiar predictability of random behavior. He eats a potato crisp whose revolutionary shape was unpalatable to the ancient Greeks, and he shows the deep connections between maths, religion and philosophy. Alex weaves a journey from primary school to university level maths, from ancient history to the computing frontline, and from St Louis, Missouri, to Braintree, Essex. He meets the world’s fastest mental calculators in Germany, consults a numerologist in the US desert, meets a startlingly numerate chimpanzee in Japan, and seeks advice from a venerable Hindu sage in India. An unlikely but exhilarating cocktail of history, reportage and mathematical proofs, Alex’s dispatches from ‘Numberland’ show the world of maths to be a much friendlier and more colourful place than you might have imagined.

Bought for me by Jon, but available on amazon: Alex’s Adventures in Numberland


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.


Alice in Brown Sugarland

Alice in Brown Sugarland, written and published by the Imperial Sugar Company.

Published in 1957 in Texas.

Paperback/ pamphlet of 26 pages.

The only Alice connection is the name and cover: there’s no theme or mention of her inside. What is inside is a collection of recipes using, of course, Imperial Brown Sugar.

Despite the lack of Alice in the book content, I really love this one- the inside looks like all the recipe books my mum used to use when I was growing up so there’s a strong sense of nostalgia…

Fairly hard to come by: mine came from a US cook book store, and was $9.99 plus p&p. Bargain.


Alice Beyond Wonderland

Alice Beyond Wonderland: Essays for the Twenty-first Century edited by Cristopher Hollingsworth.

Forward by Karoline Leach.

Published by the University of Iowa Press, 2009.

ISBN: 978-1587298196

I’m indebted to this book for reminding me of a part of my childhood that I’d forgotten: the Goops. (There’s a picture from the Goops used on page 40).

Cristopher Hollingsworth is associate professor of English at the University of South Alabama. Karoline Leach wrote “In the Shadow of the Dreamchild” (ISBN 0-7206-1044-3), which explored and contradicted the “Carroll Myth”- the fallacious perception of Carroll as some kind of drug-addled paedophile.

Review from Will Brooker, author of Alice’s Adventure: Lewis Carroll in Popular Culture:

“Alice beyond Wonderland offers an exciting range of new perspectives on the Alice books, linked around the core theme of space. This impressive collection will make an excellent and original contribution to the literature on Alice and Carroll.”

Product description:

“Alice beyond Wonderland” explores the ubiquitous power of Lewis Carroll’s imagined world. Including work by some of the most prominent contemporary scholars in the field of Lewis Carroll studies, all introduced by Karoline Leach’s edgy foreword, “Alice beyond Wonderland” considers the literary, imaginative, and cultural influences of Carroll’s nineteenth-century story on the high-tech, postindustrial cultural space of the twenty-first century. The scholars in this volume attempt to move beyond the sexually charged permutations of the ‘Carroll myth’, the image of an introverted man fumbling into literary immortality through his love for a prepubescent Alice. Contributions include an essay comparing Dantean and Carrollian underworlds, one investigating child characters as double agents in untamed lands, one placing Wonderland within the geometrical and algebraic ‘fourth dimension’, one investigating the visual and verbal interplay of hand imagery, and one exploring the influence of Japanese translations of Alice on the Gothic-Lolita subculture of neo-Victorian enthusiasts. This is a bold, capacious, and challenging work.

I’d be lying if I said I’d read this, but it’s certainly on the list- it looks fascinating, and is well produced and illustrated. I especially love the Cheshire Cat on the cover: Barnaby Ward is the artist.

Available on amazon: Alice Beyond Wonderland: Essays for the Twenty-first Century


Alick’s Adventures

Alick’s Adventures by G.R.

Illustrated with 8 plates by John Hassall, the first of which has come loose along with the protective tissue. Bother.

Longmans, Green and co, 1902. First edition.

8vo. Hardback with decorated front board and spine. No dust jacket.

G.R. is a mystery to me, but John Hassall was the creator of the “Jolly Fisherman” poster for Skegness, which he drew in 1908.

This one is sometimes tricky to track down, but usually reasonable when you do.

My copy is tatty and, as I said, the frontispiece has come away, but it’s perfectly bright and readable, and only cost me a tenner on abebooks.

You might be lucky on amazon: Alick’s Adventures

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