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


Alice in Bennetland

Alice in Bennetland by Peter A. Johnson.

Illustrated by Snark.

Published by Dog Island Enterprises. Undated, and I’m confused about dating- it’s parodying 1950s British Colombia, but I’ve seen it dated as 1972- why so much later?

8vo softback, 39 pages.

Apparently a satire on 1950s British Columbia politics: the Social Credit party and Bennett government, but my knowledge of 1950s Canadian politics is non-existent.

Ah, the power of t’internet: wiki tells me that Bennett came to power in 1952, but was there until 1972 so that would explain the publication at that time.


Darcy’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass

Darcy’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass: a Sequel to Lizzy, the Witch and the Wardrobe by Sandra Bellock Listorti.

Fan fiction published 2008 by Lulu.

Crossover between Alice and Pride and Prejudice.


Months after his failed proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy reads a mysterious entry in his journal that reveals an extraordinary tale of an adventure he engaged in with Miss Elizabeth and Caroline Bingley. But there is something else tucked in the pages of his journal that leads him on another improbable adventure as he attempts to reclaim his memories and find a way to forge a happy ending for himself and a certain lady. But he is not alone on his journey…

Includes a (sort of) Jabberwocky:

Darcy gave his aunt what would have been a quelling glance, had it been directed at any other person, but it did not discompose her at all; that she fell silent was due entirely, as Darcy was perfectly aware, to the fact that she had said what she had to say – for the present. Still, Darcy glared at her as he cleared his throat and prepared to speak, but when his eyes happened to light upon the actual words of the proclamation he was meant to read, he was forced to clear his throat several more times to cover the laughter threatening to bubble from his lips. When he had finally composed himself, he began, in the most stentorian tones he could muster, to read his aunt’s proclamation.

“‘Twas brillig, and the die was cast,

Raging rhinos trumbled past,

First were first, and last were last,

A Princess in a tower.

One fish, two fish,

Green, and red, and blue fish,

Clams can never grant your wish,

A stony, sconey bower.

To go or stay, and stay or go,

Tortles are the ones who know,

Give them sixpence and they grow,

From terror do not cower.

Call me Ishmael or Jack,

Never saw a fribble quack,

If I did, the moon would crack,

Come sun or misty shower.

Wriggling, wiggling, little tweel,

Crush you underneath my heel,

Only whifflers come to squeal,

A most impressive dower.

Are you a pirate or a pea,

Noodler, poodler, wand’ring flea,

It is all the same to me,

A vengeful bride is sour.

Twinkle, twinkle, little horse,

Speak to wimbles in their course,

Eat lemons from the Nile’s source,

Answer not with a glower.

Shakespeare is a funny name,

Hop o’cricks make lawful game,

Ride a gnargle if it’s tame,

Persuade her with a flower.

Stop and look and count to six,

Dancing snickles, bouncing glicks,

Right foot, left foot, walking sticks,

Be thee a sincere vower.

Eenie, zeenie, miney, me

Who shall be Queen of Pemberley?

The one who is your destiny,

Upon your wedding hour.”

Silence descended upon those within the tent when Darcy had finished reading, to be broken finally by what Darcy mistook for a trumpet blast until he realized it was actually his aunt, blowing her nose in the same lacy handkerchief she had used to wipe the slime from the scroll. Darcy was taken aback to see that tears were running down Lady Catherine’s face. She began to applaud, and within seconds Collins and all of the avian retainers followed suit, creating a strange, ruffling, slapping chorus of his aunt’s tribute.

On Lulu: Darcy.


Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser

Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser edited by Richard Brian Davis

Part of The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series: series editor William Irwin.

Published by John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Paperback.

Product Description:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated children and adults alike for generations. Why does Lewis Carroll introduce us to such oddities as blue caterpillars who smoke hookahs, cats whose grins remain after their heads have faded away, and a White Queen who lives backwards and remembers forwards? Is it all just nonsense? Was Carroll under the influence? This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books, and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores life’s ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature.

  • Looks at compelling issues such as perception and reality as well as how logic fares in a world of lunacy, the Mad Hatter, clocks, and temporal passage
  • Offers new insights into favorite Alice in Wonderland characters and scenes, including the Mad Hatter and his tea party, the violent Queen of Hearts, and the grinning Cheshire Cat

Accessible and entertaining, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy will enrich your experience of Alice′s timeless adventures with new meaning and fun.

From the cover:

  • Should the Cheshire Cat′s grin make us reconsider the nature of reality?
  • Can Humpty Dumpty make words mean whatever he says they mean?
  • Can drugs take us down the rabbit–hole?
  • Is Alice a feminist icon?

Alice′s Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated children and adults alike for generations. Why does Lewis Carroll introduce us to such oddities as a blue caterpillar who smokes a hookah, a cat whose grin remains after its head has faded away, and a White Queen who lives backward and remembers forward? Is it all just nonsense? Was Carroll under the influence? This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived—Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche—Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores life′s ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature.

To learn more about the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, visit

The book is divided into four sections: “Wake Up, Alice Dear.” “That’s Logic,” “We’re All Mad Here” and “Who In The World Am I?”, with 14 chapters, each explaining part of Alice’s adventure with reference to aspects of philosophy.

Interesting in a “dip into it” sort of way. This is what one chapter has to say about Alice’s conversation with the caterpillar:

Alice cannot answer the question of who she is, because she can’t seem to remember who she was. From this, we can begin to understand how memory is inextricably tied to questions of what we know (or perhaps think we know). Indeed, memory is crucially important for understanding ourselves as conscious, thinking individuals. But what is memory?

Available on amazon:Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series)

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May 2010
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