Archive for May, 2011

31
May
11

Ethel’s Adventures in the Doll Country

Ethel’s Adventures in the Doll Country by Clara Bradford.

Illustrated by T. Pym, with 6 colour plates and smaller black and white illustrations in text.

Published by John F.Shaw & Co (48 Paternoster Row), 1880.

Hardback, no dustjacket. Red embossed boards with gilding.

Listed in Alternative Alices: Visions and Revisions of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’ Books
as an Alice imitation.

Ethel loses her favourite doll, and on going to bed sees her toys running off to the Doll Country. Of course, she follows them…

This book seems to come in a variety of colours: my red, but I’ve also seen blue and green versions on-line.

I’m not sure if that’s related to date- my copy seems to be undated.

T. Pym is apparently the pseudonym of 19th-century children’s illustrator Clara Creed. She has also illustrated The Snow Queen.

I can’t find out anything about the author.

There’s a modern facsimile available on Amazon if you want to read the book: Ethel’s Adventures: In the Doll Country (Facsimile)
..or you can try and find an original: Ethel’s Adventures In The Doll Country

 

29
May
11

Under the Quizzing Glass: A Lewis Carroll Miscellany

Under the Quizzing Glass: A Lewis Carroll Miscellany edited by R.B. Shaberman and Denis Crutch.

Published by The Magpie Press, 1972. Paperback.

The credit page says “Limited to 400 numbered copies (Nos. 1-25 being specially bound) of which this is No.”, and then there’s not a number but a hand drawn dash. What does that mean?

According to the frontispiece:

…containing original studies of his life and work together with some scarce Carrolliana now first reprinted and a poem never before published.

The best bit from my point of view is the “First Draft of an Annotated Handlist of Continuations and Imitations of Alice”.  I have a fair few of them already, but it gives me plenty more to track down!

Shaberman has written other books on Carroll, and apparently also on Nostradamus. Denis Crutch has written for the Lewis Carroll Society.

Bought on Amazon: Under the Quizzing Glass: Lewis Carroll Miscellany

24
May
11

Alice in I. D. 25

Alice in I. D. 25: A Code-breaking Parody of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Frank Birch with Dilly Knox.

Illustrations by G.P. Mackeson

Private publication (Aznet Publishing), August 2007.

With introductions by Edward Wakeling and Mavis Batey.

This is a reprint of a suppressed parody/pantomime of Alice which was first performed in 1918. It parodies intelligence and code-breaking during World War One. The author suppressed publication, fearing that the secret identity of members of the Admiralty cryptography team might be compromised if the book did come to light.

The ID 25 of the title is the Naval Intelligence Division section 25, also known as Room 40.

ISBN: 978 1 904733 04 0

Francis Lyall (Frank) Birch 1889 – 1956 was a British cryptographer, educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. He joined the NID in 1916.

During WWII, he worked at Bletchley Park, and became Head of the (German) Naval Section.

Alfred Dillwyn ‘Dilly’ Knox CMG (1884 –1943) was also a British codebreaker and member of the Room 40 unit. Later, at Bletchley Park he worked on the cryptanalysis of Enigma ciphers until his death from lymphoma in 1943.

Mavis Batey (born 1921) was another Bletchley Enigma codebreaker.

Edward Wakeling is a former teacher, school inspector and chairman of the Lewis Carroll Society.

There’s also a Jabberwocky parody by Dilly Knox written about the Hut 6 mathematicians in WWII:

Twas Hutsix and the wranglercoves

Did twist and twiddle at the CYC;

All grimst were the Jeffreybrows,

And the Babbage outschreik.

Bought from Bletchley Park- well worth visiting.

23
May
11

All Us Through the Magnifying Glass

All Us Through the Magnifying Glass by B. Leslie Barker.

Tenniel illustrations.

Published in 1955, W. Ruddock & Sons Ltd.

This is a pre-publication copy as far as I can make out: there’s a note inside the front cover that says

‘Leslie from Leslie. not for publication until the executive permit 20.12.54′

Rather than a book, this is a pamphlet written as a tribute to the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain.

There’s even one of my favourite things- a Jabberwocky parody:

‘Twas Congress, and the quarter perfs
Did gyre and gimble on the gauge:
All braisil were the oeil de boeufs,
And bomba heads outrage

Alice’s name has been changed to Aniline, but several of the other characters are there. A fun little thing.

23
May
11

Alice by Whoopi Goldberg

Alice by Whoopi Goldberg.

Illustrated by John Rocco.

Published by Bantam, 1992, Hardback, first edition with dustjacket.

ISBN: 9780553089905

Very odd: Alice looks like an aging hooker…

From the dustjacket:

Listen up – you’re about to lose control on a topsy-turvy adventure with a girl named Alice, one very cool, semi-invisible rabbit, a card-playing misfit with some serious headgear, and the wickedest queen you’ve ever seen! “Wait just one minute,” you say, “I’ve heard this story before.” Baby, you’ve never heard it like this. This tale is told by Whoopi Goldberg, the most outrageous storyteller around. This isn’t Wonderland, it’s the big, bad city. And these characters aren’t like any you’ve ever met. You’re about to find out that this town is bursting with crazy surprises. See, Alice has won a mysterious prize worth big bucks that she’s sure will change her life forever. But first she’s got to claim it – in person. Take off with Alice down streets where bendy buildings wave over your head. Watch the kaleidoscope colors of graffiti fly by on the subway. Even stop off at a diner that shrinks up smaller than your lunchbox. Just don’t linger too long over that tiny hamburger (even if those loony twin waiters do crack you up) because there’s a snooty uptown queen who’s just itching to snatch the prize ticket away from Alice. Join some new friends in a dizzying race against time that’s sure to mess up your hairdo and remind you that wild and wonderful things can happen in worlds as nearby as your very own neighborhood.

Review from Michael Cart, formerly at Beverly Hills Public Library (that I tend to agree with):

Goldberg’s first literary effort is compromised in several important ways: first of all, as its title suggests, the book attempts to be an urban pastiche of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland . This would be okay if the device were integral to the plot or even to the spirit and tone of the book. Unfortunately, it is neither. A second problem is that its premise is tired and its resolution predictable: the eponymous hero, Alice, is a young African-American girl living in New Jersey (well, at least the text tells us she’s young; in the illustrations she looks as if she’s about 42) who wants to be rich. Why she wants this is unclear, since she lives in a “nice” single-family house on a “nice” suburban street. Nevertheless, she enters countless sweepstakes and, no surprise, one day she receives a notification that she is a “WINNER.” To collect her prize she must go to New York City. Gathering up her friends (a Mad Hatter look-alike named Robin and an invisible rabbit–borrowed from the play “Harvey”), off she goes to the Mean Streets. There she meets a greedy rich woman who tries to steal her winning ticket; and, of course, it turns out that the sweepstakes is a scam and, of course, Alice comes to realize that she is already rich–in friendship. This is not only tired but trite, especially since Alice doesn’t learn this lesson herself; instead a fortune-teller informs her. The biggest problem of all, however, is that this is not a book for children; it’s a commercial package, which, in its style and sensibility–especially as captured in Rocco’s stridently expressionistic illustrations–is designed to appeal to adults shopping in a retail store.

Available on Amazon: Alice

23
May
11

Illustrated by Joe McLaren

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: illustrated by Joe McLaren.

Published by Whites Books (Pocket Editions), 2010, hardcover book, embossed and with a black ribbon bookmark. First edition.

ISBN-13: 978-0956266828

Lovely little book, with wonderful illustrations, but it’s a shame that the band is glued to the inside front cover- I don’t want to remove it and damage the book, so I can’t scan in the whole cover…

Joe McLaren says on his website:

I was born in 1981, I live in Kent, I’m married, and I work as a freelance illustrator.

I graduated in 2003 from Brighton University (BA Hons Illustration First Class) and won a prize (University of Nagoya student show award~ first place).

I do lots of work for newspapers and magazines (most notably the Times and WIRED), and illustrate lots of book covers.

I can be contacted at joe_b_mclaren@hotmail.com

Available from Amazon: Alice in Wonderland (Pocket Classics)

21
May
11

ArchEnemy

ArchEnemy by Frank Beddor. Cover art by Vance Kovacs.

Third part of the Looking Glass Wars trilogy.

Published by Dial Books (part of Penguin), 2009.

ISBN: 9780803731561

Hardback first edition with dustjacket.

The premise of the series is that the books as written by Lewis Carroll are a distortion of the ‘true events’. Alyss Heart (Alice Liddell) is actually the Princess of Wonderland: forced to flee to the real world when her sociopathic Aunt Redd takes over the throne. The white rabbit becomes Alyss’s (Alice’s) tutor, Bibwit Harte (an anagram), and the Mad Hatter is Hatter Madigan, the royal bodyguard.

From the publisher’s blurb:

Discover the fate of Wonderland- and imagination itself- in this riveting conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy.

The Heart Crystal’s power has been depleted, and Imagination along with it. The people of Wonderland have all lost their creative drive, and most alarmingly, even Queen Alyss is without her powers. There is some comfort in the fact that the vicious Redd Heart seems to be similarly disabled. Amazingly, she is attempting to team up with her enemy, Alyss, in order to reclaim Wonderland from King Arch. Alyss might have no choice but to accept Redd’s overtures, especially when she begins to receive alarming advice from the caterpillar oracles.

I’m not overly keen on this series: the writing style isn’t to my taste, but they seem to be hugely popular, and I believe that a film is planned…

Available on Amazon: ArchEnemy (Looking Glass Wars)

21
May
11

Jack the Ripper: “Light Hearted Friend”

Jack the Ripper: “Light Hearted Friend” by Richard Wallace.

Published 1996 by Gemini Press. Softback.

ISBN: 0962719560

Provides ‘proof’ that Dodgson was Jack the Ripper. Funniest thing I’ve read in years: it’s genuinely dreadful.

According to the theory, hidden passages such as, ‘She wriggled about so! But at last Dodgson and Bayne found a way to keep hold of the fat little whore’ can be made by rearrangement of letters in the Alice and the Sylvie and Bruno texts. I suspect that you can make what you like given enough letters to choose from, a theory rather supported by Francis Heaney and Guy Jacobson who came up with an anagram of part of the book- here’s the original text:

This is my story of Jack the Ripper, the man behind Britain’s worst unsolved murders. It is a story that points to the unlikeliest of suspects: a man who wrote children’s stories. That man is Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, author of such beloved books as Alice in Wonderland.

And the anagram:

The truth is this: I, Richard Wallace, stabbed and killed a muted Nicole Brown in cold blood, severing her throat with my trusty shiv’s strokes. I set up Orenthal James Simpson, who is utterly innocent of this murder. P.S. I also wrote Shakespeare’s sonnets, and a lot of Francis Bacon’s works too.

Wiki link here.

The reviews on amazon are worth reading too. They’re right it only merits one star as a serious work, but it’s just so ridiculous that you can’t take it seriously…

21
May
11

“Read Me” Leaflet: Brighton reads Alice in Wonderland

Read me: Leaflet advertising the Brighton City read to celebrate Penguin’s 70th anniversary in 2005.

8 pages of quotes, information and trivia. I do like the Warholesque cover.

From the City-wide reading initiative website:

Going underground! Brighton and Hove burrows into the most curious book of the 19th century: Between March and May, The Word in collaboration with Brighton Festival and other local organizations, is encouraging the whole city to read the first children’s book with a crossover appeal to adults – Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. Carroll was a frequent visitor to Brighton from 1864 to 1887, staying with his old Christ Church friend the Reverend Henry Barclay at 11 Sussex Square and, in 1887 he watched the stage version of Alice being performed at the Theatre Royal. He is said to have got inspiration for the rabbit hole from a small underground tunnel running down to the sea in Brighton.

21
May
11

Adolf in Blunderland

Adolf in Blunderland, by James Dyrenforth and Max Kester.

Illustrated by Norman Mansbridge.

Published by Frederick Muller 1939.

First edition. 8vo, in pictorial boards. No dust jacket.

Based on the authors’ radio play produced by the BBC.

The front cover shows Neville Chamberlain as the caterpillar, looking down from the mushroom on Hitler as a small boy. Plenty of other illustrations.

Norman Mansbridge was born in Wanstead (a local boy!) on 22nd July 1911. He attended Heatherley’s School of Art in London and spent his first professional years working in advertising before becoming a freelance cartoonist, contributing his first drawing to Punch Magazine in 1937. In September 1955 he became the only cartoonist to have had eight colour pages in a single issue of Punch.

He died in 1993.

Bought on abebooks for £25. There are usually a few around on Amazon too: Adolf in Blunderland




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