Our Trip to Blunderland (1877 edition)

Our Trip to Blunderland by Jean Jambon (John Hay Athol Macdonald).

There are 60 illustrations by Charles Doyle.

Published by William Blackwood and Sons, 1877. Hardback, second edition.

Charles Doyle was a civil servant, but also worked as an illustrator throughout his life. As well as Our Trip to Blunderland, he contributed illustrations to the Illustrated Times, London Society, and The Graphic.

He was the father of Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

The book describes the Blunderland adventures of three little boys, and starts:

Norval, Jaques, and Ranulf) had been reading all about Alice, and the strange, funny things she saw and did when fast asleep.

” I wonder,” said Jaques, ” if I could ever get to sleep like her, so as to walk through looking-glasses, and that sort of thing, without breaking them or coming up against the wall ! ”

” Oh,” said Ranulf, ” wouldn’t it be nice if we could ! only the funniest thing is how she got through the wall. I don’t see how being asleep would help her to do that.”

Norval, the eldest, broke in ” Oh, you big stupid! she didn’t go through it; she only thought she did.”

” Well, then,” said Jaques, ” I want to think it too. Last night when I was in bed I tried to go to sleep, and to get through the wall ; but when I fell asleep I forgot all about it, and dreamed that I was sick, and that the doctor gave me a big glass of something horrid.”

” Ah, but,” said Norval, ” that was because you tried. Alice didn’t try, you know. She knew nothing about being asleep till she woke up.”

” Well, I didn’t know I was asleep till I woke up, either,” answered Jaques.

Ranulf looked very wise, although he was the smallest, and said, “Perhaps if Alice was here, she would tell us how to do it.”

” Of course I would,” said a sweet voice behind them ; and, turning round, who should they see but little Alice herself, looking exactly as she does on page 35, where she is getting her thimble from the Dodo.

You can read the full text here.

Most of the original editions are pretty expensive, but there is a modern reprint available. I got lucky with this copy.

Reprint on Amazon: Blunderland


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January 2011
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