Posts Tagged ‘G.E. Farrow

20
Mar
10

The Wallypug of Why

The Wallypug of Why by G.E. Farrow.

Illustrated by Harry Furness with vignettes by Dorothy Furness (Harry’s daughter, who was only 15 at the time).

Hardback first edition, published by Hutchinson, 1895.

The Alice connection seems rather tenuous at first look, but the synopsis of “Alternative Alices” by Carolyn Sigler says:

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1871) are among the most enduring works in the English language. In the decades following their publication, writers on both sides of the Atlantic produced no fewer than two hundred imitations, revisions, and parodies of Carroll’s fantasies for children. Carolyn Sigler has gathered the most interesting and original of these responses to the Alice books, many of them long out of print. Produced between 1869 and 1930, these works trace the extraordinarily creative, and often critical, response of diverse writers. These writers — male and female, radical and conservative — appropriated Carroll’s structures, motifs, and themes in their Alice-inspired works in order to engage in larger cultural debates. Their stories range from Christina Rossetti’s angry subversion of Alice’s adventures, Speaking Likenesses (1874), to G.E. Farrow’s witty fantasy adventure, The Wallypug of Why (1895), to Edward Hope’s hilarious parody of social and political foibles, Alice in the Delighted States (1928). Anyone who has ever followed Alice down the rabbit hole will enjoy the adventures of her literary siblings in the wide Wonderland of the human imagination.

It certainly has an Alice-y feel: little girl falls asleep and meets fantastical creatures in a dream-world, and it’s a lovely thing with plenty of illustrations by one of Carroll’s many interpreters.

This is G.E. Farrow’s first book, but he went on to write more than thirty, including several Wallypug sequels.

Bought in Sotheran’s Fine Books, which is well worth a visit if you’re a booky person. It’s fab.




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