Date of issue: 06/01/2015
Design: Godfrey Design
Illustrations: Grahame Baker-Smith
Published by the Royal Mail, to celebrate 150 years since publication of the book.
This is the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Presentation Pack’, with text written by Professor Hugh Haughton.
The Stamps depict ten scenes and characters: The White Rabbit, Drink Me, The Cheshire Cat, The Queen of Hearts, Alice’s Evidence, Down the Rabbit Hole, The White Rabbit’s House, A Mad Tea Party, The Game of Croquet and A Pack of Cards.
From the Royal Mail site:
The White Rabbit Second Class The legendary rabbit in a hurry takes Alice on an extraordinary journey that changes her life forever. On the stamp she is shown in hot pursuit of the White Rabbit – and adventure – away from a sunny but boring day by the river with her sister.
Down The Rabbit Hole Alice Second Class chases the strange creature into a rabbit hole but an ordinary everyday burrow this is not. Soon the little girl is floating down, down a deep chasm past walls smothered in bookshelves, pictures and maps.
Drink Me First Class At the bottom Alice glimpses a charming garden she can see beyond a tiny door she is too big to go through. She finds a bottle of potion with a painted label imploring ‘drink me’. Alice drinks, then shrinks, but now is too small to fetch the key for the door she found on a table. She eventually reaches the ‘shores’ of Wonderland by swimming away through a pool of her tears formed when the Eat Me cakes grew her.
The White Rabbit’s House First Class The White Rabbit mistakes Alice for his maid and sends her to his house to fetch his gloves and fan. After drinking from another bottle, she grows enormous, and is cramped to the rafters of the Rabbit’s tiny home. After eating a magic cake, Alice shrinks again and is able to escape.
The Cheshire Cat 81p With an ever-present, all-knowing grin, the Cheshire cat lounges on the branch of a tree and explains that everyone in Wonderland is mad, pointing Alice in the direction of two of its leading lunatics – the Hatter and the March Hare. Then, tail-first, the Cat incrementally vanishes, leaving his grin hanging eerily in the air.
A Mad Tea Party 81p Alice suffers a bewildering tea party with the Hatter, the Hare and the much-abused Dormouse, who is used as a cushion then dunked in the teapot. The Hatter offers her wine he does not have and asks her a riddle he has no answer to.
The Queen Of Hearts £1.28 Alice meets Wonderland’s most dangerous resident, the murderous Queen of Hearts – motto: ‘Off with his/her/their head(s)’ – and almost immediately faces execution by being cheeky. Alice is saved only by her own stubborn courage and the King of Hearts’ gentle intervention.
The Game Of Croquet £1.28 Unsurprisingly it is bonkers. The mallets are flamingos, the balls are hedgehogs and the hoops are the Queen’s soldiers gamely bending themselves in two. Alice finds the game rather a challenge, since all the equipment has a habit of moving about of its own accord.
Alice’s Evidence £1.47 Alice is called to give evidence in the trial of the Knave of Hearts, accused of stealing the Queen of Hearts’ tarts. Needless to say, the hearing is a farce. When the Queen demands sentencing first and verdict second, Alice loses her patience, saying: ‘Who cares for you? You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’
A Pack Of Cards £1.47 Alice’s accusation breaks the spell of Wonderland. The courtiers rise as a pack of simple playing cards and fly at her alarmingly. Alice wakes on the riverbank, the cards merely dead leaves her sister is brushing from her face. Alice reveals her dream before running in for tea. Her sister then has her own dream of Alice’s future, as a grown woman telling little children of the adventure in Wonderland she had long ago.