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77^ Lewis Carroll Society of North America 

Spring 2010 

Volume II Issue 14 

Number 84 

Knight Letter is the official magazine of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. 

It is published twice a year and is distributed free to all members. 

Editorial correspondence should be sent to 

the Editor in Chief at 


Submissions for The Rectory Umbrella should be sent to 

Submissions and suggestions for Mischmasch should be sent to or 

Submissions and suggestions for All Must Have Prizes should be sent to 

Submissions and suggestions for From Our Far-Rung Correspondents should be sent to 

© 2010 The Lewis Carroll Society of North America 

ISSN 0193-886X 

Sarah Adams-Kiddy, Editor in Chief 

Mahendra Singh, Editor, The Rectory Umbrella 

Sarah Adams-Kiddy & Ray Kiddy, Editors, Mischmasch 

Mark Burstein, Production Editor 

Andrew H. Ogus, Designer 


Andrew Sellon, 

Vice-Presiden t: 

Cindy Watter, 


Clare Imholtz, 

Annual membership dues are U.S. $35 (regular), 

$50 (international), and $100 (sustaining). 

Subscriptions, correspondence, and inquiries should be addressed to: 

Clare Imholtz, LCSNA Secretary 

11935 Beltsville Dr. 

Beltsville, Maryland 20705 

Additional Contributors to This Issue 

Barbara Adams, Gary Brockman, Ann Buki, Mary De Young, Lester Dickey, 

Cindy Watter, and Nancy Willard 

Cover illustration: Andrew Ogus, with thanks to Sir John Tenniel and Tim Burton 










Wk 'rf Rather Be in Philadelphia l 


77^ Modern Alice Wears Black Armor: 

Tim Burton 's Alice in Wonderland and Its Influences 6 


Burton 's Alice in Underwear 7 


Hacking Through Wonderland 9 


"Alice's Theme": Music & Lyrics by Danny Elfman 1 1 



Beware the Visual Guide, My Son 


Mise en Abime 


The Plum Pudding Problem 


Lewis Carroll's Identity: A Survey of Some Nineteenth- 
Century American Newspaper References 


Lewis Carroll: The King of Comedy 


C. L. Dodgson 's Aunt Lucy 



Leaves from the Deanery Garden — Ravings- 
Serendipity — Sic, Sic, Sic 



In Memoriam: Martin Gardner 
The Dream of the Dormouse 








3 1 


Take Care of the Sounds: Two Retellings of AAIW 38 


Jamison Odone Twitterview 38 


AAIW Illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia 39 


AAIW Illustrated by Robert Ingpen 39 


The Mystery of Lewis Carroll 41 


Alice I Have Been 42 


Illustrated Children 's Books 43 


Random Magic 43 


Miyuyki-Chan in Wonderland 44 


Alice Eats Wonderland 45 


Alice in Zombieland 46 


SyFy Channel's Alice 46 


Alice Beyond Wonderland 48 




Art & Illustration — Articles & Academia — 

Books — Cyberspace — Events, Exhibits, & Places — 

Movies & Television — Music — Performing Arts — Things 49 

Elizabeth Fuller and some of the Rosenbach 's Carrollian collection 

Andy Malcom, Jenna Dalla Riva, and Jack Ileeren 

leave before all the books were distributed, so he did 
not hear one child say: "Thank you so much. Where is 
the man who read so nicely?" The principal thanked 
us again and expressed the hope that we would re- 
turn when we next meet in Philadelphia. 

The public meeting proper began the next day, 
April 24, when members and guests gathered at the 
Rosenbach Museum & Library, located within two 
nineteenth-century townhouses on Delancey Place, 
near Rittenhouse Square. The museum is a world- 
famous repository of literary and artistic materials, 
ranging from a first edition of Don Quixote to the 
manuscript of Joyce's Ulysses, with a very good amount 
of Carrolliana comfortably situated somewhere in 
between. After greeting us with some opening re- 
marks, Andrew introduced us to Elizabeth E. Fuller, 
the Rosenbach's Collections Librarian, and Michelle 
Beth Goodman, the Development Associate, who 
both welcomed us with a brief history of the Rosen- 
bach, explaining that it had grown out of the person- 
al collections of the brothers Philip and Dr. A. S. W. 
Rosenbach. The latter is best known to lovers of Lewis 
Carroll for his purchase at auction of the manuscript 
of Alice's Adventures under Ground in 1928, which he 
eventually assisted in repatriating to Great Britain af- 
ter World War II. Needless to say, Dr. Rosenbach had 
held onto other Carrollian goodies, and Elizabeth 
promised to let us have a good view of them at the 
end of the meeting. 

Members were also greeted by Stacey Swigart, 
Curator of Collections at the Please Touch Museum, 
a children's museum in Memorial Hall in Fairmount 
Park consisting of six interactive exhibit zones total- 
ing 38,000 square feet, all six designed to encour- 
age learning through play. Stacey invited members 
and guests with (and without!) children to visit and 
sample the pleasures of their "Wonderland" exhibit, 
where they could plunge down the Rabbit Hole and 
discover the Tea Party, the Hall of Doors and Mirrors, 
the Pool of Tears and Caucus Race, and the Duchess's 

After these preliminaries, Andrew introduced us 
to our first speaker, Andy Malcolm, a Foley artist and 

a founding member of the LCS Canada. Andy and 
his company, footsteps post-production sound inc., 
created the sound effects for Tim Burton's recent 
movie version of Alice in Wonderland, and armed with 
both personal memories and some very enlightening 
production film clips, he and teammates Jack Heeren 
and Jenna Dalla Riva came prepared to give us a fas- 
cinating peek at the less-than-glamorous realities of 
creating such a complex film. 

Andy very sensibly began with an explanation of 
what it is that Foley artists actually do. It turns out that 
they do quite a lot, so much that they must work in 
teams to provide the many additional sound effects 
that are added to the soundtrack of a film in post-pro- 
duction. Andy showed us a hilarious and very cleverly 
done short film he had made in 1979, Track Stars: The 
Unseen Heroes of Moving Pictures. It was a split-screen 
parody of an action film in which we saw the usual 
frenetic physical drama of the genre on one side of 
the screen, while on the other we saw the Foley art- 
ists creating the sound effects needed to make the ac- 
tion sound just right. They did this by crushing, bang- 
ing, smashing, punching, and otherwise mistreating 
various objects and materials, while they themselves 
watched a raw cut of the film in real time. Fistfights 
were replicated by punching large chunks of raw 
meat; dry rigatoni inside wet chamois was crushed to 
provide the thrill of pulverized human vertebrae; file 
cabinets were hurled about and trash cans thrashed 
with considerable brio on the artists' parts. It was a 
veritable collage of sound to be recorded and then 
layered into the final soundtrack along with the ac- 
tors' spoken dialogue. 

The story of the Foley effects for Burton's Won- 
derland was a long, though not sad tale, for upon tak- 
ing up the film's soundtrack, Andy and his associates 
quickly discovered that it was going to be one of their 
more complex jobs. The constandy revised nature 
of the project, which included a great deal of green- 
screen and computer animation, finally weighed in at 
76 versions, requiring 55 days of work and up to 170 

Andy's intern collected various documents relat- 
ing to the film's genesis and production, and bound 
them together into a book cheekily entitled Andy Does 
Alice, to which Andy often referred as he explained 
the convoluted process by which Disney assigned him 
the work. Corporate secrecy required that the film 
needed an alias during production, and the moniker 
of Gurgle was chosen for Wonderland. Andy discussed 
doing Gurgle for several months with Disney; there 
seemed to be a lot of initial vacillation, and no one 
was sure how die-hard Carrollians would take it. The 
project was near death several times, and only after 
several months of discussion did Andy, along with a 
partner, take on the job. 

He first looked at the script the day he started 
work, explaining that this startling habit keeps his 
imagination fresh and lively. A large inventory of ma- 
terial (much of which appeared as rubbish to the un- 
trained eye) was selected to provide the perfect sound 
for each scene and character. We were shown several 
working clips, most of them so raw that the animation 
was often half-finished, and they were presented to us 
in their production format with a staggering array of 
individual sound tracks visible on screen. The sound 
of Johnny Depp's assault upon the tea service in the 
Mad Tea Party was created by smashing up real bone 
china (better sounding than cheaper grades), while 
the final battle sequence was furnished with a grand 
total of 120 tracks, all of which had to be redone after 
the original background animation with its accompa- 
nying sonic ambience was rejected and recreated. 

There was quite a method to Andy's sonic madness! 
The White Rabbit's paw-steps were created with enor- 
mous, fuzzy oven gloves, and the dogs' paw-steps were 
smartened up with paper clips attached to oven gloves. 
The Bandersnatch was suitably Canadianized with mis- 
matched hockey gloves armed with what looked like 
tenpenny carpenter's nails. Alice's dress was unusually 
troublesome, as both she and her dress often changed 
sizes; thus, the complex sounds of moving fabrics had 
to be redone entirely for each size. Usually two indi- 
vidual tracks were needed to handle her dress, and 
even worse, whilst recording Alice's footsteps, Andy 
was compelled to strip down to his underwear lest the 
rusding of his pants overwhelm the delicate sounds of 
the petite heroine's shoes and dress. 

After this fascinating expose, Byron Sewell gave us 
a short explanation of the 2010 free premium for LCS- 
NA members in good standing, a CD entided Carrolling 
with John. It's an illustrated and annotated account of 
the correspondence between Byron, Dr. Sandor Burst- 
ein, and the late John N. S. Davis, one of the found- 
ing members of the LCS (U.K.). All three gendemen 
had shared their passion for the works of Lewis Carroll 
in a voluminous correspondence that lasted for many 
years. After John's death and the dispersal of much of 
Byron's archives, the entire correspondence seemed 
forever lost, or so Byron thought until Edward Wakel- 

ing graciously provided him with copies of the letters, 
enough to work up into a very fine and unique docu- 
ment diat sheds considerable light on die earlier years 
of the LSCNA, the 1970s and early 1980s. 

Joel Birenbaum then regaled us with a brief pre- 
cis of the looming sesquicentennial celebration of the 
publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, better 
known as "Alicel50: Celebrating Wonderland," which 
will occur in 2015. The general theme will be Alice in 
popular culture, and for now there are five major insti- 
tutions planning events centered around that theme. 
For further details, refer to Joel's announcement and 
to Jon Lindseth's call for volunteers on page 36. 

Byron and Joel were followed by Nancy Wiley, an 
artist who hasjust published a hardcover version of Won- 
derland lavishly photo-illustrated with her striking and 
evocative sculptural doll tableaux. Nancy is a graduate 
of the PJiode Island School of Design and a nationally 
renowned doll maker with over 20 years of experience; 
her work has appeared in national magazines and in 
art galleries and exhibitions around the world. 

Nancy had been making ever more elaborate and 
complex dolls for several years, extending her range 
and techniques to the point where she was tackling 
portraits of people such as Mark Twain and Albert 
Einstein. This addition of physical and psychological 
verisimilitude and the steady accumulation of humor- 
ous details in the increasingly complex backgrounds 
which Nancy favored were the result of her stylistic in- 
novations in doll making; Nancy was strongly ground- 
ed in painting techniques and used those techniques 
to paint the entire dolls, the faces, costumes, accesso- 
ries, and the backgrounds, thus creating entire scenes 
instead of single dolls. 

In time, Lewis Carroll beckoned, as he does to so 
many artists. For Nancy, creating Wonderland evoked 
strong memories of her childhood and family life; she 
identified with Alice, as so many young, intelligent 
women do, and equally important, the project evoked 
happy family memories. When she was eight years old, 
her elder brother, William, surprised her with a large- 

Nancy Wil/y 

scale diorama that included the Mad Tea Party that 
he had constructed in the family's basement. Natu- 
rally, the young Nancy was thrilled and also deeply 
impressed by William's craftsmanship. William was 
a naturally gifted artist who became a world-famous 
doll maker in his own right; he eventually encouraged 
and assisted Nancy in learning the difficult skills of 
modeling, mold making, and handling resins, and his 
untimely death sharpened Nancy's determination to 
push herself further as an artist, as her brother had. 

When Nancy was a child, her mother had given 
her a facsimile edition of Underground; the naive style 
and charming adnosphere of Lewis Carroll's original 
illustrations had always fascinated her, and she seized 
upon them as a starting point for her own version. For 
her own renditions of the individual characters for the 
many tableaux she planned for the various episodes of 
the story, she also referred to other visual sources such 
as Tenniel's illustrations and even Quentin Matsys's 
painting A Grotesque Old Woman. Faces were the tricky 
bit; she always began with them to firmly establish char- 
acter; only then did she model the remaining body 
upon an armature, afterwards painting and dressing 
the figure and then painting the dresses. 

These various doll characters from Wonderland — 
she made 18 Alices in all! — then assumed the role of 
actors, with Nancy playing the role of director and set 
designer. She built and painted backdrops to arrange 
the figures within and then carefully photographed 
the entire scene. Some of the backdrops were simple 
painted flat surfaces; others were far more elaborate 
combinations of flat surfaces and three-dimensional 
assemblages, one even incorporating an entire china 
cabinet to great effect. Nancy showed us various slides 
of the finished illustrations, sometimes in variant ver- 
sions. The charmingly theatrical flavor of the entire 
work was pronounced and proved to be very appropri- 
ate visually and conceptually; it not only reminded us 
of Carroll's own love of the stage, but it also accentuat- 
ed the set-piece nature of Wonderland as a whole, with 
its roots in the universal, imaginative pleasure that 
children take in play-acting with dolls and props. 

The entire book was designed by the graphic de- 
signer Chris Jarmich, who worked closely with Nancy 
to give the finished book a Victorian feel. The page 
size is generous and the quality of the four-color re- 
productions excellent; the tableaux look superb on 
the printed page. Copies were available at the meet- 
ing, and it is clear that Nancy's Wonderland is a unique 
(and extremely labor-intensive) version to add to the 
ever-growing roster of Wonderlands, in print. Nancy is 
busy now making a series of limited edition Wonder- 
land-related dolls, and they are available online, along 
with her book. She works in a storefront gallery and 
studio in Canandaigua, in the Finger Lakes region of 
New York, and she encouraged interested members 
to visit and see her at work. 

Dr. Maria Tatar, the John L. Loeb Professor of 
Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard 
University, spoke next. She also heads Harvard's Folk- 
lore and Mythology program, where she studies and 
teaches children's literature, ranging from traditional 
fairy tales to modern works, with Lewis Carroll's works 
taking pride of place, of course. As a child, Maria had 
been told that Wonderland was only for adults, and be- 
ing, as she admitted, the sort of child who likes to talk 
back, she took that restriction as a challenge of sorts. 
Since then she's done a lot more thinking about the 
subject. Having lectured on Carrollian nonsense, she 
had some ideas to share with us concerning Carroll 
and the effect of his unique stories upon children. 

In essence, she asked us to make sense of non- 
sense, a bit of an oxymoron perhaps, but necessary 
if one wants to get at the heart of the Alice books and 
The Hunting of the Snark. Regarding Alice, Maria made 
the shrewd observation that Carroll's most famous 
heroine seems to be trending towards evil — perhaps 
even the Dark Side! — in popular culture. The reason 
for this may be partially related to the nature of Car- 
rollian nonsense, which can be boiled down to mak- 
ing words mean more than we intend them to mean. 
This process often lays bare what Maria dubbed the 
metasense of words, their fundamental multiplicity of 
meanings, the exploration of which is much of the 
fun of reading Carroll to children. 

The linguist Noam Chomsky's example of lin- 
guistic nonsense — "colorless green ideas sleep furi- 
ously" — furnishes an excellent opportunity for ana- 
lyzing the metasense of words. Taken literally, it's a 
statement of impossible facts, yet its grammatical cor- 
rectness allows one, if the hot day is making one feel 
sleepy and stupid, for example, to idly put together 
a dreamy, poetic mind-picture of something logical 
enough for at least a moment of idle reflection. 

Nonsensical statements like Chomsky's about 
narcoleptic clouds create a sort of phonetic white 
noise that can trigger a pattern-making response in 
the reader, an instinctive action that tries to make the 
nonsense words (or signifier, as Maria noted) corre- 
spond somehow to a valid fact or situation (roughly 
speaking, the signified). It is this triggering of our hu- 
man instinct to find sense where none appears that 
Maria identified as one of the chief appeals and ben- 
efits that reading Carroll holds for children. 

Maria used the final poem in Wonderland, "They 
told me you had been to her," as a concluding exam- 
ple of the way that the confusion of nonsense mimics 
the confusion that children experience at sorting out 
the world around them. The poem lacks enough ref- 
erence to make it logical, yet the words hang together 
somehow, always on the verge of telling you some- 
thing factual yet never quite making it. For children, 
this poem hints at an adult world where the beauty of 
language can trump its usefulness, where it's okay to 

be confused (at least at appropriate moments), and 
where words, no matter their temper or pride, can be 
mastered, the whole lot! 

This impenetrability of language can run the 
gamut of emotions, from the relative sobriety of the 
Mouse's drying-up speech before the Caucus Race, to 
the pure mayhem of "Pig and Pepper." Maria pointed 
out that, in essence, there are bad sentences — decep- 
tive, dangerous, and pointing towards a completely 
meaningless anarchy — and then there are good 
sentences, the happy nonsense of playful escapism, 
which allow children to safely play with language. It 
seems that the Alice in the popular culture of today 
is flirting dangerously with the former, perhaps as a 
reaction to earlier historical and cultural tendencies 
towards the latter? 

In any case, this playing with language that is at 
the heart of Lewis Carroll's entire oeuvre allows chil- 
dren to safely and productively navigate the loom- 
ing dangers of adult reality in the linguistic safety 
of nonsense. Creating child philosophers is how 
Maria summed up this psychological and linguistic 
process, and one can't help but think that Carroll 
himself would have been deeply gratified to hear his 
work characterized thus and to have it summed up 
so succinctly and clearly. Her avoidance of excessive 
critical jargon and her clarity of thought were clearly 
appreciated by her audience, and the question-and- 
answer session afterwards was lively, with much bandy- 
ing about of conlangs and glossolalia, and even some 
pointed references to the linguistic nonsense prac- 
ticed by some politicians. Maria also has a blog that 
focuses on all sorts of children's literature issues and 
is worth a visit by members interested in children's 
reading habits and education. 

The meeting proper closed with the Rosenbach's 
rousing version of show and tell, conducted by Eliza- 
beth Fuller and Farrar Fitzgerald, Education and 
Group Tours Coordinator. Dr. Rosenbach in particu- 
lar loved all things Carrollian, and the collection he 
bequeathed to the eponymous museum formed the 
nucleus of a larger collection of books, documents, 
objets, and ephemera mainly focused on English and 
American literature and history. 

The Carrollian items are the crown jewels, and 
Elizabeth and Farrar very patiently (and cautiously) al- 
lowed all of us to examine their treasures closely, giving 
us a very thorough explanation of the provenance and 
meaning of each item. First among equals was an 1865 
Wonderland dedicated by the author to Marion Terry, 
one of only 23 known copies to exist from the entire 
first run. The Rosenbach also holds a large collection 
of Carroll's letters, including his entire correspon- 
dence with his publishers, Macmillan, and of course, 
many of his letters to his child friends, several of which 
were exhibited. 

Ihr. Maria Tatar 

A particularly amusing letter of May 29, 1869, to 
Miss Isabel Seymour was a perfect example of Dodgson's 
dry sense of British humor; he explains that he had sent 
her on her first railway journey, alone and without her 
ticket, so that he could give her a really exciting adven- 
ture. He felt that was better than his alternate plan of liv- 
ening things up with a random pistol shot through the 
carriage windows. He sent Isabel a railway ticket anyway, 
pasted inside a very fine consolation prize indeed, a first 
edition of Wonderland in German. 

Of course, what's the use of a show and tell with- 
out any pictures? In this matter also, the Rosenbach 
was happy to oblige. They possess two dozen Dodgson 
photographs, four of them nudes, and we were very 
privileged to examine two of the latter, including the 
tinted Beatrice Hatch image. This was followed with 
some first-rate examples of Victorian book illustration, 
including several fine examples of A. B. Frost's work 
for Phantasmagoria, but the undisputed highlight were 
two of Tenniel's preliminary pencil drawings for Won- 
derland, especially the iconic Jabberwocky illustration. 
Elizabeth and Farrar also gave us a good sampling of 
their considerable collection of Carrollian ephemera, 
including playscripts, publicity, and advertising materi- 
als, some of them semi-clever bits of fakery that had 
no chance of deceiving the eagle-eyed members of the 
LCSNA. Our gracious hosts were quick to point out 
that much of the collection is searchable online at the 
Rosenbach's website, and if need be, one can make ar- 
rangements to view certain items in person by simply 
calling them to arrange the details. 

And so, after some brief closing remarks from 
Andrew, we discovered that we had begun at the be- 
ginning and gone on till we'd come to the end: then 
stopped. The meeting having successfully closed, 
speakers, guests, and members all made their way to 
the Black Sheep Pub and Restaurant, where an eve- 
ning of good food, good drink, and good conversa- 
tion rounded off a perfect day. 





The Modern Alice Wears Black Armor: 
Tim Burton's Alice \r\ Wonderland and Its Influences 




r hongh the two would never be mistaken 
for one another, American McGee's blood- 
stained, glowering teenager has more in 
common with Tim Burton's Australian ingenue Mia 
Wasikowska than meets the eye. Specifically, the latter 
might not have come to exist without the former. The 
video game Alice, released in 2000 by game designer 
American McGee, is bloody, disturbing, and massively 
popular, even now. Within a year of its release, film 
rights had been purchased and Wes Craven signed on 
to direct. However, shortly after, the rights were sold 
to a different producdon company, and have since 
then been sold from company to company without 
much hope of moving forward due to script-adapta- 
tion difficuldes. Along those lines, Marilyn Manson, 
the rock'n'roll industrial metal performer, worked 
on the music for the Alice video game and has a 2007 
album entitled Eat me, Drink me and an endlessly in- 
progress pet film project, Phantasmagoria: The Visions 
ofLetuis Carroll. 

The concept of Alice is a much darker entity than 
it used to be. The original Alice books, being such 
faceted material, have always had a certain inherent 
darkness, but in the past decade or so, the girl in the 
blue dress has been embraced by the subculture in 
heavy black eyeliner. Alice has become an object for 
the Gothic teenage girls who worship heavy metal and 
nose piercings as well as seek to reclaim their Disney- 
defined childhood with passionate nostalgia. Alice 
now lives in stores like Hot Topic, so it's no surprise 
that Burton's film is being merchandised there. After 
all, they share a primary audience. The modem Alice 
belongs to them now, just as Burton belongs to them. 

But how does a production company go from ani- 
mated fairy tales such as The Princess and the Frog to an 
Alice imagined by the dark-by-definition Tim Burton? 
For the only reason Disney backs anything these days: 
profit. Tim Burton hasn't worked with Disney since he 
produced 77**? Nightmare Before Christmas in 1993, and 
why would he? Nightmare was perceived by Disney as a 
failure, having not appealed to their usual audience, 
but at the time Disney didn't pay attention to the au- 
dience with whom it was popular: the Goth crowd. 
Now, nearly twenty years later, Nightmare has been 
embraced (and properly merchandised, finally) be- 

cause Disney has at long last realized the existence of 
this niche market of black-clad, pasty-skinned young 
people. Even Bats Day — the day in August when all 
the Goths come to Disneyland — has been (unoffi- 
cially) recognized by the management. The market 
has been identified, and Disney knows how to milk a 
market, though merchandising to a niche market is 
new for them. 

Because Burton's previous work with Disney has 
now proven successful (17 years after the fact), and 
his 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (with War- 
ner Brothers) proved he could do successful, child- 
friendly films while still working in his unique style, 
Disney identified Burton as a sound investment. Simi- 
larly, the Pirates of the Caribbean films proved to Dis- 
ney (as well as other film production companies) that 
Johnny Depp wasn't the box office poison he'd once 
been pegged to be. Given these recent successes of a 
director and an actor once only loved for cult films, 
it became a simple matter of business for Disney to 
back Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Because of this, the 
merchandising has been extreme. Hot Topic has be- 
come its own Wonderland with Mad Hatters and Red 
Queens on every imaginable (and some unimagina- 
ble) piece of clothing and accessory. Disney Couture 
has an A/zc^ jewelry line, and OPI has an Alice nail pol- 
ish collection. 

If the merchandising push is any indication of 
hopes for success, this Alice in Wonderland film could 
be the first significantly successful Alice film . . . ever. 
The financial failure of most (if not all) Alice films 
is due to the fact that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 
and Through the Looking-Glass are nearly unproduce- 
able. Cinema, as an artistic medium, requires cohe- 
sive plot. However, the Alice books have entirely epi- 
sodic plots, and so staying true to the books in a film 
results in an inherent loss of narrative. To create a 
cohesive plot means deviating from the books, to the 
chagrin of devoted fans. It's a no-win scenario, but 
Burton decided that infidelity to the original texts was 
the lesser of the two evils. 

This results in a storyline that takes place 12 years 
after Alice's adventures (making her the very eligible 
age of 19), but even taking these deviations from Car- 
roll's texts into account, it is by no means an original 

script. It is composed of the modern ideas of Alice that 
have arisen in the public consciousness. The idea of 
"returning" to Wonderland to find it not as it was draws 
elements from the American McGee Alice as well as 
Return to Wonderland, the 2007 spin-off comic book se- 
ries of Zenescope Entertainment's Grimm Fairy Tales. 
Wonderland being a land at war again has touches of 
American McGee, as well as Frank Beddor's 2004 The 
Looking Glass Wars. (The chess versus cards storyline is 
particularly very McGee and Beddor.) 

Alice is no longer the curious little girl in blue. 
Modern subcultures have embraced her as a savior 
heroine of darkness, strangeness, and violence. The 
Disney branding is the final cementing of this new im- 
age into popular culture. We have returned to Won- 
derland to find it dark and twisted — full of Burton's 
gnarled trees, swirling patterns, and pale faces — but 
it's the Wonderland of the 21 st century. It's the Won- 
derland that the modern world wants. 










I was one of the first people in the world to see Tim 
Burton's new Alice in Wonderland film, at a press 
screening on February 18, 2010. I'm sure the print 
was still moist. As the 3D spectacle unfolded before 
me that night, after so many months of anticipation, I 
squirmed in my plush chair at the El Capitan theater 
in Hollywood, in a deep quandary because there was 
so much to like about the film and yet so much to 

Profoundly disappointed afterwards, I ran my 
frustrations past my partner, Cal, who had accompa- 
nied me to the screening. Cal represents a more typi- 
cal moviegoer, free of expectations of what an "Alice" 
film could or should be. He was highly entertained 
by it. So I held my personal misgivings about the film 
close to the chest — at first. 

A few days later I attended a press junket in Holly- 
wood, where I was ostensibly a reporter representing 
the publications of the Lewis Carroll Societies. In a 
natty waistcoat and Caterpillar necktie, I looked very 
Victorian shabby-chic, with a Lewis Carroll Society of 
North America badge proudly gleaming on my lapel. 
Though I tend to be the kind of guy who says hello to 
strangers at events, Hollywood journalists seem to be 
obsessed with celebrities and their own careers and 
are not very chatty with strangers, so I wasn't able to 
strike up any interesting conversations about the film. 
Inside I was dying to know if other people were as 
bothered about it as I was. 

After devouring a mountain of bagels and fruit 
salads, we assembled in a small hotel banquet room as 

the panel took their seats: Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, 
Danny Elfman, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham 
Carter, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Matt Lucas, 
Crispin Glover, and producers Joe Roth and Richard 
Zanuck. An impressive crew to be facing! Everyone 
seemed relaxed and candid as they discussed the pro- 
cess of making the film and very complimentary (of 
course) of what it was like to work with everyone else. 
They took turns chatting about how much Lewis 
Carroll inspired them. Johnny Depp, whose low-key 
charisma is strangely mesmerizing, said that if Alice 
were published today, it would be a best-seller and 
cultural phenomenon, adding that you could turn 
to any page and be "stupefied by cryptic nuggets." 
Helena Bonham-Carter, her hair a huge mad tangle 
with one braid hanging off one side, had that "I'm 
exhausted from dealing with my kids" attitude that 
made her comments sound as if we were on her 
couch drinking Bloody Marys. Very earthy, off the 
cuff, and hilarious, she was definitely enjoying her 
"now I just play evil people" career. Michael Sheen 
(voice of the White Rabbit) was disappointed that 
they didn't need him to shoot any live action: "I 
would have given anything to have hopped around in 
a bunny suit." Composer Danny Elfman said, "When 
I was young, there was a copy of Alice in Wonderland 
in my family's library with the picture of ten-foot-tall 
Alice on the spine. I was both fascinated and terri- 
fied of it. I'm still obsessed with long necks and weird 
bodies." Johnny Depp added, "So am I!" Okay, this 
was getting kind of bizarre. 

I was disappointed that writer and co-producer 
Linda Woolverton was noticeably absent, as I had 
some pertinent questions about the script. Why, if Al- 
ice has been obsessing about her recurring nightmare 
for 12 years, does she have no memory of her adven- 
ture in Wonderland when she finds herself there 
again? Why is the Dormouse feisty instead of sleepy? 
Why make the Caterpillar wise instead of stoned? Why 
confuse the Queen of Hearts with the Red Queen? 
Why change the poetry of "Jabberwocky," when it's 
one of the most well-known poems in the world? And 
why turn a delightfully comic tale into a dreary video- 
game-battle extravaganza? 

During the Q&A that followed the discussion, I 
shot my hand up at every opportunity, but was never 
called upon. I suppose Joe Roth (the producer serv- 
ing as moderator) avoided me because he could see 
pointed, critical quesdons written all over my face. So 
I had to suffer through lame questions like "Johnny, 
what's it like working with Angelina Jolie?" 

I staggered out of the Hollywood Renaissance 
Hotel and into the Hot Topic retail store, which had 
been completely remodeled to promote the movie: 
fully carpeted with green turf and decked out with 
a rabbit hole, props, trees, giant mushrooms, the 
Red Queen's throne room, and a tiny door leading 
to a Mad Tea Party photo location. The merchandise 
wasn't terribly inspired, but the store was a knock-out. 
I took lots of photos. 

Meanwhile the folks at the Disney Studio arranged 
for a telephone interview with Linda Woolverton (see 
page 9). As a reporter, I did my best to be unbiased, 
especially because a member of Disney's marketing 
team was on the phone with us and probably woidd 
have terminated the connection if I'd started being 
critical. Linda told me she'd done her best to imitate 
the tone of Carroll's books while reinvendng them for 
a modern audience. She defended the changes she'd 
made in Alician mythology as necessary to maintain 
a narrative structure and make an appealing movie 
that she hoped, might also inspire people to read the 
books. And as for Alice's mental block, Linda's expla- 
nation was that people really don't remember details 
from dreams — that Alice's memories are more a se- 
ries of vague glimpses. To me, the resulting interview 
speaks volumes about what happens when a director 
doesn't work closely with a screenwriter to carefully 
craft the material to be filmed in the strongest pos- 
sible manner. 

Meanwhile, the film opened to gigantic box-of- 
fice returns and mosdy negative reviews. Critics all 
had the same thing to say: that the film was dazzling 
to look at, but the story was overwhelmingly disap- 
pointing. The public, however, has seemed truly 
excited about the pairing of Tim Burton and Alice, 
and for the most part, they are enjoying the movie 
in droves. I saw the film a second time, hoping I'd be 

less critical (I wasn't). The audience of rowdy young 
people at the sold-out midnight show was thrown into 
an uncomfortable silence during the endrety of the 
film, broken only by the awkward guffaws prompted 
by the Red Queen's petulant tantrums. 

When my friends ask for my opinion, I'm quick 
to point out that I think the concept of a troubled, 
19-year-old Alice returning to Wonderland is a great 
idea for a movie, but that the script made many, many 
poor decisions that not only subverted the source ma- 
terial but actually made for a derivative, joyless, un- 
necessarily violent film. As my friends look upon me 
with pity, I swiftly add that I think the movie is really 
fun to look at. I don't mind that it's a sequel; it's just 
not as good as it could have been. 

All the more frustrating to have so much talent 
and an enormous budget that could have been used 
to bring Alice's original adventures to life! What a 
missed opportunity! After a century of mostly low- 
budget, unimaginative, live-action film adaptations, 
we are finally treated to animals that look like ani- 
mals (rather than D-list celebrities in tacky cos- 
tumes) and a display of scenery and special effects 
that bring a dense, decaying Wonderland to life in a 
breathtaking series of 3D visuals. Alice's flashbacks 
to her childhood dream are so tantalizing that one 
might wish that Burton had jettisoned the whole se- 
quel thing and instead found a satisfactory way to 
adapt the original tale. 

In an effort to be posidve, here are Six Impos- 
sibly Nice Things to Say About Tim Burton's Alice in 

1 . "Underland" is a perfectly reasonable name for 
Alice's dream-realm. It makes sense for many 
reasons and even refers to Carroll's original 
"Under Ground" tide. 

2. Despite the murky photography, it does present 
Wonderland's visual lunacy in a manner long 
overdue. It's densely overdesigned and dark, but 
brimming with fun details. The Cheshire Cat is 
particularly awesome, and the Dodo, Tweedles, 
White Rabbit, March Hare, and Fish and Frog 
Footmen are all superbly realized. 

3. The acting talent is tremendous, if misguided. 
It's a dream cast, pun intended. 

4. Danny Elfman's fine musical score is appropri- 
ately thrilling and majestic: a Wagnerian gothic 
fantasy (think kettledrums and roaring boy 
sopranos) that could easily accompany Harry 
Potter, Frodo Baggins, and the Pevensie kids up 
to Mount Doom. 

5. It's great to see so much care given, and antici- 
padon over, a new film version of Alice's Adven- 
tures in Wonderland. After a hundred years of 
mediocre adaptations, it's about time Alice got 
some real, well-deserved attendon, and people 
are flocking to see it. 

6. That high-speed tumble down the rabbit-hole is 
truly exciting. 

Now, just as Alice likes to list her Kitty's faults, 
here's my list of the film's most egregious errors: 

1. If Alice had remembered her previous adven- 
tures in "Underland" but pretended not to (nor 
to recognize its denizens) because she was unin- 
terested in acknowledging their stupid prophecy 
about her killing a Jabberwocky (sic!), it would 
have made her self-realization character arc far 
more interesting. The novelization hints that 
the White Rabbit actually pushes Alice down the 
rabbit-hole — a sensible idea that somehow got 
abandoned during photography. 

2. The prophecy that Alice (who apparently looks 
like that long-haired kid who kills the Jabber- 
wock in the Tenniel illustration) will put an end 
to the Red Queen's reign of terror and that 
Underland will become happy again under the 
rule of the White Queen is unbelievably lame. 
And the Queens being sisters was done so much 
better in the musical Wicked. 

3. If you're going to have a plot, you might as well 
give the White Rabbit, Dodo, Tweedles, etc., 
some reason to be there, rather than have them 
be entirely extraneous. I can't help thinking the 
story could have been resolved by having Alice's 

friends outwit the Red Queen, her henchman, 
and her beasties in clever ways, rather than 
requiring Alice to don batde gear and chop off 
a creature's head. This is the sort of behavior 
that makes the Red Queen despicable, yet we ap- 
prove when Alice does it? The Jabberwock might 
just be misunderstood, or under a spell, right? 

4. Alice shrinks out of her clothes? Her underwear 
is adaptable as a wearable garment regardless of 
her size? 

5. Title the film something else (e.g., Battle for Un- 
derland) that reflects more honesdy the massive 
digression it represents from its source material. 
(But then it surely wouldn't have had the same 
markedng appeal.) 

6. Don't make this movie's mythology conflict with 
the story's canon. It's confusing and wrong. It's 
not as if Carroll's books are obscure. 

I could go on, but it's only fair to stop at six. 

The unfilmable charm of Lewis Carroll's books 
has eluded Hollywood yet again, but if you can divorce 
yourself from Carroll's wry brilliance, this movie is en- 
tertaining as a visually bold, unnecessarily violent, sur- 
prisingly dull, and mildly aggravating piece of fantasy 
filmmaking. Since Burton botched the opportunity to 
create a definidve screen adaptation of Alice's real ad- 
ventures, that challenge awaits a different champion. 








tjackio^ Tffrod^h Uooderlaod 




No man but a fool enter wrote but for money. 
— Dr. Johnson 

LCSNA member Daniel Singer spoke with screenwriter 
Linda Woolverton on the phone on March 25, 2010. 

DS: How did the germ of the new story begin ? 

lw: I had been pondering the idea of "what if: 
What if Alice were older and went back? I 
mendoned the idea to my agent. Producers 
Jennifer and Suzanne Todd had asked him if 
I had any ideas about a big family fantasy film. 
He said, 'Yes, I think she does, about 'Alice in 
Wonderland'." I'd actually forgotten about it. He 
called me and asked if I remembered the idea 
and I said, "Yeah, I think I do." From there, I 

created the tale in my head. I pitched it to the 
Todds, and they took it to Disney. Then Disney 
hired me to write the screenplay. 

DS: Was there a lot of input from studio executives to 
emphasize certain ideas in your script ? 

lw: They completely let me go; I didn't get a note 
from anybody. The only thing I was told was 
"Don't leash your imagination." I said, "That could 
be really expensive." They said, "Don't worry about 
that." So I wrote it on my own completely. 

DS: An important plot point references Sir John Tenniel's 
illustration of the Jabberwock being attacked by a youth 

who looks like they might be a teenage Alice. Was this 
an inspiration for the story'? 
lw: Yes. That illustration was everything for me. I want- 
ed it to be a coming-of-age story, about a person dis- 
covering their strengths and slaying their demons. I 
diought, "How do I get a Victorian girl to die point 
of being a warrior facing a dragon?" And diat jour- 
ney was going to be my particular task. 

DS: Were you a fan of Lewis Carroll s original stories? 

lw: Of course I'd read them as a child. I love the 
books and read them occasionally because they're 
so inspired. The humor is unbelievable, I just 
laugh out loud. I was actually thinking about 
"fainting in coils" yesterday and I was laughing 
in my car. He's brilliant. 

DS: Did "Alice" in other media, like other film or TV adap- 
tations, influence your ideas ? 
lw: In no way. I went direcdy to the source material. 

DS: How much did the script evolve during production ? 
LW: They shot the script verbatim. No one ever 
asked me for a rewrite. 

DS: Hon) rare! Were you concerned that Lends Carroll fans 
might have issues with the screenplay deviating from the 
well-known "Alice" mythology? 

lw: I wasn't really. Here's the thing: "Alice" is a bril- 
liant novel, but a novel isn't a screenplay. When 
I adapt material, it changes in the process. I 
change themes and relationships. I believe that 
in order to make stories accessible to a contem- 
porary audience, some things have to be altered 
or it will feel stodgy and old-school. However, the 
reason I was brazen enough to do this is so that 
people who haven't read the original will be so 
intrigued that they'll go and read it. I feel like 
I'm not besmirching these works; I'm reinventing 
them to inspire people to go back and look at 
them again. I always wanted to honor the original 
material, or I wouldn't have done this. 

DS: Was it strange telling such a grown-up and violent 
"Alice" story rather than the gentler, ivittier presentation 
of the original books ? 

LW: I wanted to match the original tonally. I tried to 
make my invented language in the tone of Lewis 
Carroll. Of course I'm not him, but I was trying 
to do my best to make the language similar to 
the ear. But if I had written a movie with people 
sitting around being witty, it wouldn't have got- 
ten made. I'm a pragmatist. I wanted to be true 
to the source material, but I had to make it a real 
movie with a real narrative structure. 

DS: In your screenplay, Alice seems to have forgotten her 
previous experience, even though she complains that her 
nightmare recurs frequently. Why was the decision made 
to give Alice a mental block ? 

lw: She doesn't remember that she was there. You 
know how things are in dreams. You can't remem- 
ber the specifics; you get things in glimpses. She's 
not going to remember the details, like how to 
drink the liquid to get small and to eat the cake 
to get large. You know? It was a dream. 

DS: Did you ever consider titling the movie something 

besides Alice in Wonderland ? 
lw: That was a Disney marketing choice, not mine. 

DS: Did the finished film successfully capture what you had 

LW: There were some things I had envisioned dif- 
ferently, but Tim [Burton] made them better. I 
don't have that kind of imagination. I'm a story- 
teller. I was astounded by the incredible things he 
did. That's the joy of collaborating with other art- 
ists: They take what you have and compound it, 
and you get something better, something magical. 
Tim so completely understood the themes I was 
going for. Tim got it. 



Mom. 1 Read 
me "flus book 
at bedtime.' 
Pefey 9^9 
th^res an 
Alice in it' 





We says its Afeaky/Alfce 
Jfalls into an exftnct volcano 
\jjhere she's menaced by d\q 
babies, invisible cafe s^\d a 
doorman in a teapot/ At the 
end.'a.Pfec a 
chase, -they 
make her -fte 
queen and 
has pie/ 

that g in 
'Alice in 

Last week she added 
a rabies subplot to 
'"OJmniethe Pooh"' 





'Xftcfi CThmt": Music O Lyrics 6y nanny itfum 





r he ominous opening riff of the soundtrack 
to Tim Burton's Afo'cg m Wonderland is a close 
cousin to one of Philip Glass's infinitely re- 
peated motifs: an open and oscillating minor third, 
ambiguity in motion. It is also the identical way that 
Danny Elfman opened his soundtrack to Tim Bur- 
ton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). Ripping 
oneself off, you could argue, is also very Glassian. Or, 
again like Philip Glass's works, perhaps it's not exactly 
self-plagiarism, but something closer to branding. On 
the original motion picture soundtrack album (Walt 
Disney Records, $18.98), this dark minimalist orches- 
tration is accompanied by children's voices singing a 
song with a simple but catchy melody: 

Oh, Alice, dear, where have you been? 

So near, so far or in between? 
What have you heard what have you seen? 

Alice, Alice, please, Alice! 

Oh, tell us are you big or small, 
To try this one or try them all, 

It's such a long, long way to fall, 
Alice, Alice, oh, Alice! 

Even though the lyrics are cringe-worthy, I was 
somehow disappointed when I saw the movie and 
heard only oo-ing and ahh-ing. It was a pretty good 
song for something that didn't make it into the final 
production (better than the Avril Lavigne noise es- 
corting viewers quickly out of the theater at the end). 
Had it been eliminated in some post-production 
board meeting? Or was there a difference of vision 

between Burton and Elfman, longtime collaborators? 
Burton has had no qualms about putting some of 
Elfman 's worst lyrics on the screen before. This song 
would have functioned as a haunting recurring cho- 
rus, commenting on Alice's adventures: the ghosts of 
children, who are otherwise almost completely absent 
from a movie that's sort of based on a children's book. 
Why do children always get expurgated from the film 
versions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland} 

If you are not familiar with Mr. Elfman, he is 
the film composer and longtime collaborator with 
Mr. Burton, the man who wrote the iconic music for 
Batman, The Simpsons theme, and those wonderful 
songs for The Nightmare Before Christmas. He has done 
less-than-stellar work for some of Mr. Burton's more 
recent mediocrities. Elfman is often mocked in the 
classical world for basically having a team of compos- 
ers do his work for him, although I sometimes feel 
this criticism is harsh. After all, Renaissance painters 
employed whole crews of apprentices, Dale Chihuly 
has a studio to manifest his glass-art masterpieces, and 
George Gershwin didn't do the orchestrations for 
Rhapsody in Blue. (Remember Ferde Grofe, composer 
of the Grand Canyon Suite? He did it!) Art is not always 
the creation of an agonized solo genius, sometimes it 
is more the product of an architectural designer, es- 
pecially in the film music world. "Alice's Theme" isn't 
worth buying the soundtrack for, but it also isn't the 
worst song ever written about Alice — you have to buy 
the complementary Almost Alice album (Walt Disney 
Records, $18.98) to hear those. 





Disney 's Alice in Wonderland: The Visual Guide 

Jo Casey and Laura Gilbert 

DK Publishing/Disney Enterprises, Inc., 2010, ISBN: 978-0-7566-5982-0, $16.99 

Reviewed by Clare Imholtz 

I decided I had to review this book before I saw the 
movie. After all, is it not a crib for the movie? One 
needs a crib, given all that's changed in Burton's 
Wonderland, I mean Underland. But there is a slight 
logical problem: the movie is decidedly not for kids, 
but this book obviously is. In fact, it is listed at 
as a children's book. Poor unsuspecting kids, who will 
have Alice ruined for them forever. 

The illustrations, mosdy stills from the film, but 
also some uncredited original art, are eye-catching 
and often provocative. They are, like the layout and ty- 
pography, slick, professional, and generally attracdve, 
despite the freak-show ambiance. But the prose and 
vocabulary echo that of the Disney Princess books: 

"Join Alice on the biggest adventure of her life as she 
learns that anything is possible . . . and that dreams do 
come true." Or, another example: "The noble Lord 
and Lady Ascot are even holding a summer party in 
Alice's honor." (What's that about?) Readers' atten- 
tion spans are not expected to be longer than a young 
child's: The book is divided into about thirty-five sec- 
tions, each two pages long. The number of words per 
page ranges from about sixty to a couple of hundred; 
the fonts are large, need I say; the story is ridiculous, 
and the wridng is putrid. 

Do not buy this book. If you must buy it for your 
collecdon, keep it away from the children. 






Mise en Abime 




'"Well, I'll eat it, ' said Alice, 'and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key. '" 

r he Burton film has left at least one stunning 
artifact in its wake, one so witty it's surprising 
no one has thought of the conceit before: a 
series of trompe-l'oeil nested books in the manner of 
Russian stacking dolls (matryoshka) which iteratively 
open to reveal a surprise deep inside — but let us be- 
gin at the beginning. 

Disney's presskit for the movie, a handsome, rath- 
er large (15W l x 12" w x 3'/2" d) albeit lightweight 
tome bearing a stylized Alice in Wonderland on the an- 
cient-looking cover and spine, sits in your hands, mak- 
ing you feel as if you are a small child with a big book 
in your lap. You open the cover and pore through a 
few "parchment" pages about "The Creators of Won- 
derland: Disney - Carroll - Burton" to find a smaller 
book (12" x 814" x 2 3 /4"), identically titled, in a pocket 

within. Is it really smaller, or are you growing larger? 
This iteration contains several fold-out pages portray- 
ing the virtual locations in the film, and within it . . . 
yes, another Alice in Wonderland book, this one (8W 
x 6" x 1%") about the characters. Delving a few pages 
further in reveals another pocket, this one at an angle, 
containing a small (5" x 3W x 114") blue book bear- 
ing only a silver key on its spine. ("Now I'm opening 
out like the largest telescope that ever was!") Inside 
that inmost book is, indeed, a pewter key, bearing a 
tag with the legend "Read Me." The back of the tag 
reveals the secret: Pull off the top of the key and it's 
a flash drive to plug into your computer's USB port! 
On the drive are digital images of the concept art, 
film stills, posters, studio shots of the characters, the 
trailer, a PR document, and so forth. 

This extraordinary item was sent by the Disney 
PR team to a select group of critics, promo folks, and 
the like, in stead of the usual press kit. Although it 
clearly says, "This book . . . may not be placed in any 
form whatsoever on the Internet," you can see it on 
YouTube, and despite the warning "It may not be sold 
to a third party," I suspect these may eventually show 
up on eBay or the like. 

As to the whole kerfuffle over the film itself, I 
am reminded of the famous author (variously iden- 
tified as William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler, and 
James M. Cain), who was once asked, "How do you 
feel about what Hollywood has done to your books?" 
"Hollywood has not done a thing to my books," he 
replied. "They're right over there on the shelf, exacdy 
as I wrote them." 











ike the many other logic examples in Lewis 
Carroll's Symbolic Logic, the plum pudding 
^HH^puzzle 1 consists of several syllogistic prem- 
ises and a conclusion which is also a premise. The 
example is modeled herein as a Boolean logic system 
where the parts of speech (subjects, predicates and 
adjectives) of the premises are represented by six (6) 
binary-valued components, respectively representing 
Carroll's six variables. We obtain a solution, a mini- 
mized disjoint form for the part of the 1-set, the set of 
admissibilities, that are not contradicted by any prem- 
ise, that consists only of those 6-tuples in which a "1" 
value for "plum pudding" is one of the variables. We 
also identify the 1-valued 6-tuple that is tautologous 
for all premises and represents Carroll's presumptive 
favorite recipe for plum pudding. 

This approach to solving a logic example, by mor- 
phing it into a Boolean logic system that displays the 
disjoint sets that contain all of the admissible n-tuples, 
is superior to the technique deployed by Carroll in 
Symbolic Logic because it retains the information pro- 
vided by all of the variables. For this logic example, 
Carroll's proposed solution explains only three of his 
variables; our solution explains all six variables. 


1 . A plum pudding that is not really solid, is mere 

2. Every plum pudding, served at my table, has 
been boiled in a cloth; 

3. A plum pudding that is mere porridge is indis- 
tinguishable from soup; 

4. No plum puddings are really solid, except what 
are served at my table. 

Univ. "plum puddings"; 

a = boiled in a cloth; 

b = distinguishable from soup; 

c =mere porridge; 

d = really solid; 

e = served at my table. 

The four premises are represented by bilateral 
clauses of a Boolean system where each clause has a 
binary-valued subject, a binary-valued predicate, and 
the subject is modified by a binary-valued adjectival 
phrase. The first three premises have both a single 
modified subject and a single predicate. The fourth 
premise, however, is two clauses in one because it says 
that the plum pudding "not served at my table" is "not 
really solid" but that "the plum pudding served at my 
table is really solid." We substitute premises 5 and 6 
below for Carroll's premise 4. 

5. a plum pudding not served at my table is not 
really solid 

6. a plum pudding served at my table is really solid. 


The system consists of the five premises 1, 2, 3, 5 and 
6, and six components (the total number of subjects 
and predicates contained within those five premises). 
Carroll gave five of the components alphabetical let- 
ters and called plum pudding "Univ" for "universal." 
We use the the same alphabetical letters to identify 
the components that Carroll did, except to substitute 
"p" for plum pudding. 

A Boolean system to solve a logic example com- 
prises three classes of 2-valued objects: "n" compo- 
nents, n-tuples of components, and sets of n-tuples. 
Each component is a binary-valued variable that can 
have one of only two values: "0" or else "1"; where "0" 


means negation or absence of that component and "1" 
means agreement or presence. Since the components 
are binary-valued, a tilde (") overhead distinguishes 
a O-valued component from a component that is 1- 
valued. A tilde means "0" or negation; no tilde means 
"1." For example, "e" is "not served at my table" and 
"e" is "served at my table"; likewise, "d" is "really solid" 
and "d" is "not really solid"; and so forth. 

An n-tuple is an ordered state of the system with 
a binary value for every one of the "n" components. 
A value of "1" for an n-tuple means that it is not con- 
tradicted by any premises, so that it is admissible; a 
value of "0" means that it contradicts one or more 
premises and is not admissible. For this system: n=6; 
"p" is "plum pudding"; "a" is "boiled in a cloth"; and 
so forth. Because every n-tuple consists of six compo- 
nents and every component has two possible values, 
"1" or else "0," there are 2 ( '=64 six-tuples, the ele- 
ments of this Boolean system, collectively known as 
the universal set U. 

A set for this system consists of a collection of six- 
tuple elements that is a subset of £/and is represented 
either by a Boolean function or by a term of a Bool- 
ean function. A set is 1-valued if all of its elements 
are 1-valued or else 0-valued if all of its elements are 
0-valued. A 1-valued set is represented by a 1-valued 
term or by a 1-valued Boolean function that consists 
only of 1-valued terms. A 0-valued set is represented 
by a 0-valued term or by a 0-valued Boolean function 
that consists only of 0-valued terms. 

Each term of a Boolean function represents a set 
which is a subset of t/and is identified by one or more 
of the 6 components, the variables for that term. 
These variables are those components for which every 
6-tuple element in the set has the same binary value 
as every other element in the set. This does not mean 
that every component has the same value; it means 
that for every variable, every component in the set 
represented by the term has the same binary value as 
the variable. 

The six components in this logic example are the 
variables for the functions that represent the five prem- 
ises. For each premise there are both a 0-function that 
defines an inadmissible subset of 6-tuples and a 1 -func- 
tion for the remainder of U, the admissible subset for 
that same premise. The system 0-function represents 
the union (i.e., Boolean sum) of the five 0-functions; 
the system 1-function represents the intersection (i.e., 
Boolean product) of the five 1-functions. 

The O-functions and l-functions for the premises 
are given by the following expressions, where "ab" 
means "a and b" and "a + b" means "a or b" 

1. (pd)c= 0; p+ c + d = 1; 

2. (pe)a=0; p+ a + e= 1; 

3. (pc)b = 0; p + 6 + c = 1; 

5. (pe)d = 0; p+ d + e = 1; 

6. (pe)d = 0; p+d + e=l. 

We illustrate these functions using the first prem- 
ise as an examplar. The premise is "A plum pudding 
that is not really solid, is mere porridge." The premise 
is a clause with the subject "plum pudding," an adjec- 
tival modifier "that is not really solid," and predicate 
"is mere porridge." The 0-function "(pd)c = 0" is a 
symbolic way of restating this premise; it can be re- 
stated in natural language as "A plum pudding (p) 
that is not really solid (d) and is not mere porridge 
(c) does not exist in my system." These three variables 
"pdc" conjoined together become a term of the sys- 
tem 0-function that defines an inadmissible subset of 
6-tuples with p = 1 , c = 0, and d = 0. 

The 1-function "p +c + d = 1" for this first prem- 
ise defines the subset that does not have any 6-tuples 
in the subset defined by the 0-function for the first 
premise; it means that in a solution an n-tuple could 
have either "mere porridge (c)" (1-valued) or "really 
solid (d)" (1-valued) or "not be plum pudding (p)" (0- 
valued) and that n-tuple would be admissible. Howev- 
er, the other four premises all have similar 1-functions 
that must also be satisfied. All five 1-functions must be 
satisfied in order for any 6-tuple or subset of U to be 

The solution to the logic example is the system 
1-set (the "1" in bold type), the intersection of the 1- 
sets for the five premises; it is described by the 1-func- 
tion, the Boolean product of the five 1-functions and 
includes all of the admissible 6-tuple elements in U. 
The 1-function is derived iteratively, one iteration for 
each premise, by a minimizing process whereby the 
1-function for the incumbent premise is multiplied by 
the accumulated Boolean product of the 1-functions 
for all prior premises. 

We illustrate a step of the iterative process of 
building the 1-function by forming the minimized 
Boolean product of the 1-functions for premises 5 
and 6. 

(p+ d + e)(p+ d + e) = p+ de + de = 1. (1) 

The minimizing operations that resulted in Eq. 
(1) are called idempotency "pp =p" and contradic- 
tion "dd = ee = 0." The 1-function can be obtained 
by serially multiplying Eq. (1) by the 1-functions for 
premises 1, 2 and 3 in any order, at each step aug- 
menting the 1-valued product function, as illustrated 

The minimized 1-function that results from this 
series of multiplications that defines all of the admis- 
sible n-tuples has four terms 

1 = p + bcde + abde + acde. 


The first term of Eq. (2), "(p) not plum pudding" 
is irrelevant to Carroll's logic example because the 
example is about plum pudding; only the last three 
terms are relevant. Note, however, that none of these 
terms have "plum pudding (p)" as a variable. These 


three terms are relevant only if they also explicitly 
contain the variable "p," which would mean that they 
are only about plum pudding. If these terms are all 
augmented by the variable "p" and then also made 
disjoint with one another so that there are no overlap- 
ping 6-tuples, we have die portion of the 1-function 
that is only about plum pudding and the relevant part 
of the admissible solution to Carroll's example: 

pbcde + pabde + pabcde. 


After a syntactical reorganizadon of the terms of 
Eq. (3), the 1st term "pbcde" means that "the 'plum 
pudding (p)' 'not served at my table (e)' is 'indistin- 
guishable from soup (b),' 'mere porridge (c)' and 
'not really solid (d )'." The 2nd term, "pabde," means 
that " 'the plum pudding (p)' 'served at my table 
(e)' is 'boiled in a cloth (a),' 'not distinguishable 
from soup (b)' and 'really solid (d)'." The 3rd term, 
"pabcde," means that "the 'plum pudding (p)' 'served 
at my table (e)' is 'boiled in a cloth (a),' 'distinguish- 
able from soup (5),' 'not mere porridge (c),' and 're- 
ally solid (d)'." 

The 3rd term of Eq. (3) "pabcde" seems to be 
Carroll's favorite recipe; it is about plum pudding 
served at his table, specifies values for all six variables, 
and is tautologous for all five premises. For the 2nd 
term "pabde," however, which does not specify a value 
for "mere porridge (c)," the variable "c" is free to be 
either "1" or "0"; this means that "the "'plum pudding 
(p)' 'served at my table (e)' that is 'boiled in a cloth 
(a)' is 'indistinguishable from soup (b)' and 'really 
solid (d)' and could be either 'mere porridge (c)' or 
'not mere porridge (c)'." Because this term is about 
plum pudding served at Carroll's table and represents 
a subset of the 1-set, so that it is not contradicted by 
any premises, it is also admissible. 


Carroll was a meticulous person with exacdng tastes. 
It is not hard to agree that "pabcde," was his recipe 
for plum pudding: boiled in a cloth, really solid, not 
mere porridge, and distinguishable from soup. I 
do not believe that he would also have agreed that 
"pabde," for "plum pudding boiled in a cloth and re- 
ally solid, but indistinguishable from soup, that can 
be either 'mere porridge' or 'not mere porridge'" is 
admissible. With "mere porridge (c)" as a free vari- 
able that can be either 0-valued or 1 -valued, that term 
assigns admissibility to a plum pudding that is both 
"indistinguishable from soup (b)" and "mere por- 
ridge (c)," but and also "really solid (d)." 

The reason for the admissibility of this seemingly 
unreasonable result is that pabde, which is not con- 
tradicted by the 3rd premise, p+ 15 + c = 1, is not tau- 
tologous for the premise. Since "c" is a free variable, 
"1," "mere porridge," is admissible just like "0," "not 
mere porridge." The problem could have been avoid- 

ed by adding another premise such as "a plum pud- 
ding that is really solid is distinguishable from soup" 
that would change the system so as to place "pabde" 
in the 0-set rather than the 1-set. 


Carroll's solution to the logic example is a new prem- 
ise: No plum-pudding, that has not been boiled in a 
cloth, can be distinguished from soup. The 0-function 
corresponding to this premise is "pab=0" and the 1- 
function would accordingly be " p + a + b =1." In 
order to be an admissible solution the premise must 
be compatible with the original premises. 

The test for compatibility is the result of multi- 
plying the l-function for the new premise by Eq. (2), 
the 1-function for the system; if the result of this mul- 
tiplication is the 1-function for the premise, it is not 
contradicted by any of the premises and satisfies all of 
them. Carroll's solution passes this test and is admis- 
sible, since the minimized Boolean product of the 1- 
function for the new premise and Eq. (2) is 

(p + bcde + abde + acde) (p + a + b) = 
(p+ bcde+ abde + acde). 

Carroll used a soritic technique to solve logic ex- 
amples. This can be described as a chain of syllogisms 
where the conclusion of one syllogism is a new prem- 
ise which is an input for the next syllogism in the 
chain. He solved this example by sequencing the four 
original premises in the order "1, 3, 4, 2," as noted on 
p. 222 of Ref. [ 1 ] . However, the text only gives the or- 
der of the premises, but no explanation of the steps. 
His solution can be emulated by processing a chain of 
syllogisms in three steps with Carroll's four premises 
in that order: 

Step 1: The conclusion of the syllogism consisting of 
Premises 1 and 3 is "A plum pudding that is not 
really solid is indistinguishable from soup"; 

Step 2: The conclusion of the syllogism consisting of 
the conclusion for Step 1 with Premise 4 is "A 
plum pudding that is not served at my table is 
indistinguishable from soup"; 

Step 3: The conclusion of the syllogism consisting 
of the conclusion for Step 2 with Premise 2 is 
Carroll's solution to the logic example: "No 
plum pudding, that has not been boiled in a 
cloth, can be distinguished from soup." 

At each of these three steps, one variable, which 
Carroll called an eliminand, is deleted from the chain. 
At Step 1 "d," "really solid," is eliminated; at Step 2 
"c," "mere porridge," is eliminated; and at Step 3 "e," 
"served at my table," is eliminated. Thus Carroll's so- 
lution does not include those variables; by contrast, in 
our solution, as represented by Eqs. (2) and/or Eq. 
(3), those variables, which were needed in order to 
obtain a solution, are included. 


It should also be noted that in the process of de- 
veloping Carroll's solution, three new premises about 
the logic example were obtained, the conclusions of 
Steps 1, 2, and 3; only one of the three, the outcome of 
Step 3 was called the solution. Since all three of those 
premises are about plum pudding that is distinguished 
from soup, there is no apparent or obvious reason why 
either or both the outcomes of Steps 1 and/ or 2 could 
have been chosen for a solution either instead of or in 
addition to the outcome of Step 3. 


The discussion about solutions in the immediately 
foregoing sections of this paper shows that the Bool- 
ean methodology described herein for solving this 
logic example with a minimized disjoint 1-function 
is superior to the soritic method. Whereas the soritic 
solution is a statement in the form of a new prem- 
ise about the values of just two or three variables, the 
Boolean solution accounts for the values of all of the 
variables. In addition, each of the terms of the 1-func- 
tion for the Boolean solution can be translated into a 
unique scenario for an admissible set of n-tuples rep- 
resenting states of the system that is consistent with 
all of the premises of the example and that can be de- 
scribed in a sentence in natural language. By contrast, 
Carroll's soritic solution, which does not account for 
all of the variables, is one new premise out of three 
new premises, each of which could have been chosen 
as a solution instead of just the one that came at the 
end of the third syllogism in the soritic chain. 

A noteworthy feature of the Boolean methodol- 
ogy is that among the terms of the minimized disjoint 
solution is the tautology, representing a subset con- 
sisting of a single n-tuple with the values of all of the 

six variables specified, that is tautologous for all of the 
premises. In this case the tautology is Carroll's favor- 
ite presumptive recipe for plum pudding: boiled in a 
cloth, not mere porridge, really solid and distinguish- 
able from soup. 


Lewis Carroll's Symbolic Logic, Part I Elementary, 
William Warren Bartley, III (ed.), Clarkson L. 
Potter, Publishers, updated edition, 1986. This 
book contains not only an edited edition of Part 
I (Elementary: Sixth Edition), but also Part II 
(Advanced), which was never published before 
the appearance of Bartley's remarkable edition, 
which had itself resulted from his worldwide, 
18-year search for scattered manuscripts and gal- 
ley proofs prepared by or for Carroll prior to his 
death in 1898. The earlier editions of Symbolic 
Logic also contain this example and Carroll's 

Boolean Systems for Reliability and Logic, Mitchell O. 
Locks, in preparation. This reference covers 
the use of a Boolean system with three classes 
of binary-valued objects: components, n-tuples 
of components and sets of n-tuples, as a homo- 
morphism to a logic system with the subjects and 
predicates of axioms, to find admissible out- 
comes and conclusions. The mathematics of this 
paper are based on this reference. 

1 Carroll's problem is on p. 168; the solution is on p. 222 of 
Bartley's edition of Lewis Carroll's Symbolic Logic. 






Lewis Carroll's Identity: 

A Survey of Some Nineteenth-Century 

American Newspaper References 






r he fact that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was 
careful to maintain, as far as he could, a to- 
tal public separation from his famous nom 
de plume is well documented. He had printed and 
kept at hand replies to strangers addressing letters to 
him under the name of "Lewis Carroll." This is the so- 
called "Stranger Circular," which reads as follows: 

Mr. Dodgson is so frequently addressed by 
strangers on the quite unauthorized assump- 
tion that he claims, or at any rate acknowl- 
edges the authorship of books not published 
under his name, that he has found it neces- 
sary to print this, once for all, as an answer to 
all such applications. He neither claims nor 
acknowledges any connection with any pseud- 
onym, or with any book that is not published 
under his own name. Having therefore no 
claim to retain, or even to read the enclosed, 
he returns it for the convenience of the writer 
who has thus misaddressed it. 

And yet, Professor Morton N. Cohen was surely 
correct when he noted in the July 19, 1974, Times Lit- 
erary Supplement that: 

In his relationships with family, friends, and 
colleagues, Dodgson was often open and con- 
fiding about his second identity. Letters bear- 
ing the double signature of Lewis Carroll and 
C. L. Dodgson are not so rare as they were once 
thought to be. . . . What Dodgson did not like 
was the unsought attention of fawning strang- 
ers, and he avoided being lionized, especially 
by people he did not know. He would have be- 
haved in the same way had his mathematical 
works, written under his true name, attracted 
an unknown public to his door. Dodgson was 
a well-bred, modest, reticent Victorian gende- 
man who would never dream of approaching 
a stranger without a proper introduction, nor 
would he intrude upon anyone else's privacy 
without fair warning. He sought for himself 
the treatment he readily gave to others. 

Moreover, Dodgson did try to get the cross-refer- 
ence slip from his pseudonym to his real name re- 

moved from the Bodleian Library card catalogue, and 
in that effort — in the end a fruitless one — he wrote to 
Falconer Madan, Bodley's Librarian, on December 8, 
1880, "Thanks for your letter referring me to the Cu- 
rators. I have sent in an application to them accord- 
ingly. American publications are, I fear, beyond the 
reach of appeal from English writers." In the latter 
point he was indeed quite correct. 

We find in the popular American press of the last 
three decades of the nineteenth century dozens of 
statements on the identity of the author of Alices Ad- 
ventures in Wonderland, often accurate but sometimes 
quite bizarre. Remember that Dodgson had jokingly 
written to his illustrator Henry Holiday on July 15, 
1883, "My dear Holiday, Do not, oh do not indulge 
such a wild idea as that a newspaper can err!" 

The universe searched to produce the lisdngs 
given below was very sizable, though hardly complete 
(there were thousands of nineteenth-century Ameri- 
can newspapers) , and consisted of the newspaper ar- 
chives digitized by the Readex, Gale (now Cengage 
Learning), and ProQuest corporations, and by the 
Library of Congress. Searches were conducted during 
the last two weeks of the month of August 2009, on Car- 
roll AND Dodgson, Alice AND Dodgson, Lewis Carroll 
AND Charles L. Dodgson, and Lewis Carroll AND C. 
L. Dodgson. Newspapers are the exclusive sources in 
the following notes — not periodicals, although diere 
was often more crossover between the two classes of 
publications than there perhaps is today. 

The citation format for the references below con- 
sists of: date of the article or brief notice, newspaper 
name, place of publication, tide of article if present, 
page number, text of the identification passage, and a 
note where applicable. Short entries are quoted in full, 
longer articles end with ellipses. Spelling and punctu- 
ation have not been altered, but a few small interpola- 
tions in brackets have been introduced to clarify the 
sense of the article excerpts. Initial articles have been 
omitted from the names of the newspapers. 

1872 May 12. Daily Picayune. New Orleans, Louisiana. 
"Literary chit-chat." p. 3. 

The author of "Alice in Wonderland" and its mate, 
who writes under the name of "Lewis Carroll" is Can- 
on Lightfoot, of Christ Church, Oxford. 


Note: Which Lightfoot, however wrong-footed, is meant 
here? John Prideaux Lightfoot had been Rector of 
Exeter and Vice Chancellor of Oxford University until 
his death in 1866, so he is an unlikely choice. Joseph 
Barber Lightfoot ivas a graduate and fellow of Trinity 
College, Cambridge, and later Canon of St. Paul's, 
then Bishop of Durham. He was a great patristics 
scholar but was never associated with Christ Church 
and Alice. 

1873 January 14. Cincinnati Daily Gazette. Cincinnati, 
Ohio. "Personal." p. 5. 

The London correspondent of The Scotsman says that 
"Lewis Carroll," the author of those delightful books 
for children called "Alice's Adventures in Wonder- 
land" and "Through the Looking-glass," is really the 
Rev. Mr. Dodgson of Christ Church, Oxford. There 
was a report that "Lewis Carroll" was a man connected 
as a chief of parliamentary reporters with the London 

Note: Reprinted in the Christian Union, February 
19, 1873. p. 8. The source for the first half of this en- 
try is the column "From our private correspondence" in 
The Scotsman, December 11, 1872, p. 4, as follows: 
I understand that the gendeman who calls himself 
"Lewis Carroll," and as such is so widely known as 
the author of the fairy stories, "Alice's Adventures in 
Wonderland," and "Through the Looking-glass," is 
the Rev. Mr Dodgson, of Christchurch, Oxford. The 
stories were first told, I understand, to Miss Alice Lid- 
die (sic), the daughter of the Dean of Christchurch. 
Mr. Dodgson took his degree in 1853 as a first class 
in mathemadcs, and he is now mathemadcal lecturer 
at Christchurch. He is about forty years of age. The 
article which appeared some time ago in "Macmil- 
lan's Magazine," and which professed to trace the 
famous poem of the "Jabberwock" (which appeared 
in "Through the Looking-glass") to a German origin, 
was of course a "squib" and proceeded, I am given to 
understand, from the pen of the master of a certain 
College in Oxford. 

Note: This may be the earliest newspaper identification 
of the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 
with C L. Dodgson. The source for the contradictory, 
and of course completely false, assertion that Carroll 
was "connected as a chief of parliamentary reporters 
with the London Times " is undetermined. 

1875 October 7. Inter Ocean. Chicago, Illinois. "Peo- 
ple and Things." p. 4. 

Lewis Carroll of "Alice in Wonderland" (is) C. L. 
Dodgson . . . 

1875 October 12. Quincy Whig. Quincy, Illinois. 
"Personal." p. 4. 

Lewis Carroll of "Alice in Wonderland" (is) C. L. 
Dodgson . . . 

1876 April 19. Congregationalist. Boston, Massachu- 
setts. "News and notes." p. 6. 

The following list is one that the reader may like 
to cut out. It contains a number of pseudonyms that 
have been accumulating in one of our literary pigeon 
holes for a year or more. We are not aware that they 
have ever been published collecdvely, and some of 
them certainly have never seen type at all: "Jennie 
June," Mrs. J. C. Croly . . . "Lewis Carroll," Charles L. 
Dodgson . . . 

1885 December 13. Springfield Republican. Spring- 
field, Massachusetts. "Christmas fairy lore." p. 4. 
Good things have imitators, and several have tried to 
get themselves magician's mantles like the one Lewis 
Carroll wears, for the most part without success. But 
Charles Carryl, a stock broker on Wall Street, appar- 
endy inspired by the resemblance of his name to the 
alias of Mr. Dodgson, has come very near to matching 
the enchanted fabric, for his "Davy and the Goblin" is 
so very good that it would almost have passed for Mr. 
Dodgson 's own had it been so put forth. 

Note: Charles E. Carryl (1841-1920) was an officer 
with several American railroad companies and later 
held a seat on the Nexu York Stock Exchange. The full 
title of his most famous children's book, which was 
published in 1885, is Davy and the Goblin, or, 
What followed reading "Alice's Adventures in 
Wonderland. " 

1890 March 2. Sunday Oregonian. Portland, Oregon. 
"A waning literary fashion." p. 3. 

Eugene Field tells about great men who have used 
pseudonyms. Browning was one of the few great liter- 
ary characters, says Eugene Field in the Chicago (Daily) 
News, that did not make a pracdce of writing under 
a nom de plume. Even that good and truthful man, 
Martin Farquhar Tupper, deigned to put forth work 
under the signature of Peter Query, Esq. . . .The au- 
thor of "Alice in Wonderland" is Lewis Carroll, but 
that is simply the pseudonym of the Rev. C. L. Dodg- 

1891 February 21. St. Louis Republican. St. Louis, 
Missouri. "Literary news and new books." p. 10. 
"Reading for the Young. A Classified and Annotated 
Catalog, with an Alphabetical Author Index." Com- 
piled by John F. Sargent, Boston Library Bureau, 141 
Franklin Street. ... As showing the range of the com- 
piler's informadon, we nodce that "Lewis Carroll" is 
given as merely the pseudonym of the author of "Al- 
ice in Wonderland," whose real name is C. L. Dodg- 
son. Very few of the author's most ardent admirers 
know this. 

1892 February 4. Idaho Falls Times. Idaho City, Ida- 
ho. "Notable pen names." p. 2. 

Boys and girls of all ages have read "Alice in Won- 
derland," which was written, according to the dde 


page, by Lewis Carroll. It has often been asserted that 
Mr. Carroll was none other than the Rev. C. L. Dodg- 
son. But Mr. Dodgson himself "claims no connection 
with any nom de plume whatever." In his opinion pen 
names are usually assumed for the purpose of secur- 
ing complete privacy. In some cases this was the mo- 
tive, but how vain the effort! 

1892 April 15. Duluth Daily News. Duluth, Minneso- 
ta. "Books and magazines." p. 2. 

The public library last week placed 79 volumes on its 
shelves. . . . The list of books added was as follows: 
. . . 813-21-53. — Fiction — Dodgson. C. L., Through the 
Looking-Glass . . . 

1892 December 3. Themis. Sacramento, California. 
"About noms de plume." p. 6. 

It might be thought that noms de plume, or sobri- 
quets — or, as the French call them, noms de guerre — 
are chosen haphazard fashion, but it is far otherwise 
in most cases. As much thought is often expended 
in their construction as ever was devoted to the dde 
of the book. . . . Many names, however, are entirely 
due to individual fancy, no particular law or circum- 
stance being concerned in their evolution. Such, for 
example, are the "Edna Lyall" of Miss Ada Bayley; . . . 
and the "Lewis Carroll" of Rev. Charles Dodgson, the 
charming author of "Alice in Wonderland." 

1892 December 4. Daily Inter Ocean. Chicago, Illinois. 
"Sylvie and Bruno." p. 29. 

[In] "Sylvie and Bruno," the last work within recent 
years from Mr. Dodgson's pen, the humor of his early 
writings is rather wanting . . . 

1892 December 12. Daily Inter Ocean. Chicago, Illi- 
nois. "The Author of Alice in Wonderland: How Mr. 
Dodgson ("Lewis Carroll") lives at the university." By 
Mrs. Bradley, p. 28. 

There can scarcely be a family of English-speaking 
children to whom the "Alice" of "Wonderland" and 
"Looking Glass" renown is not known. In one sense 
"Alice" undoubtedly belongs to all the young folks of 
the present day, but to certain children who twenty 
years or so ago followed the pages of her adventures 
while yet fresh from the printer's, certain children liv- 
ing in Oxford at that particular period, she was espe- 
cially dear, and to these she may be said to have es- 
pecially belonged. For these particular children were 
not only fervent admirers of Lewis Carroll, as he is 
known to the reading public, but they were also Mr. 
Dodgson's personal and privileged friends. It was in 
their midst that the "Adventures of Alice" were actu- 
ally conceived and written, it was on them that the 
first presentation copies were bestowed by the author, 
and to one of them that the dedication to Alice was 

Note: This long article with a drawing of "Tom 
Quadrangle" utas also printed on p. 10 o/The 
Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 
on the same date. 

1893 March 16. Daily Picayune. New Orleans, Louisi- 
ana. "Personal and general notes." p. 4. 

The author of "Alice in Wonderland," who in private 
life is Rev. Charles L. Dodgson, is said to have be- 
come almost a recluse. He is a tutor of mathematics 
at Christ Church College, Oxford, and a bachelor. He 
is still fond of children, but the only people of mature 
years whom he finds interesting are the children for 
whom he wrote his famous book, and who have now 
attained a larger growth. 

1893 March 20. Neiv Haven Evening Register. "Persons 
and things." p. 3. 

Evangelists Moody and Sankey, after a highly success- 
ful campaign against the enemy in Baltimore, are 
now preparing to wage war in Charlotte and Wilm- 
ington, N.C. Rev. Charles L. Dodgson, author of "Al- 
ice in Wonderland," who is a tutor of mathematics at 
Oxford university, and a bachelor, is said to be almost 
a recluse. He still manifests an affection for children 
as strong as that which moved him to write the story 
which has made his name famous. 

1895 July 30. Springfield Republican. Springfield, Mas- 
sachusetts. "Alice in Wonderland's Author: A Noted 
Mathematician and Recluse Son of Christchurch, Ox- 
ford." p. 8. 

The author of "Alice in Wonderland," charming, kind- 
ly gentleman that he is, has a horror of anything ap- 
proaching to publicity which might almost be called 
morbid. So much does he dread a chance encounter 


with the ever-wily interviewer, and even the possibil- 
ity of a betrayal by an acquaintance, says Ethel Mack- 
enzie McKenna in the Ladies ' Home Journal, that he 
avoids making friends. Only a very few of those who 
surround him are admitted to his intimacy and enjoy 
the charm of his quick sympathy, bright intelligence 
and wide learning. Yet it seems difficult to understand 
how Mr. Dodgson can believe that the individuality of 
Lewis Carroll is entirely hidden in that of the spare, 
gray-headed, austere-looking don of Christchurch, 
but so it is, and he even takes a joy in the thought that 
his family name is hardly known outside the univer- 
sity, save to ardent lovers of mathematics . . . 

Note: This long article was reprinted on p. 2 of the 
Omaha World Herald, Omaha, Nebraska, for 
August 6, 1895. 

1896 April 14. Daily Inter Ocean. Chicago, Illinois. 
"People and Events." p. 6. 

The Duke of Cumberland was born without a nose. 
The one which adorns his face is the result of much 
ingenuity on the part of the surgeons who attended 
him as an infant . . . Lewis Carroll, the author of "Al- 
ice in Wonderland," lives in Oxford, and is a deacon 
of Christ Cathedral. He stammers, and that is why he 
never became a clergyman. His real name is Dodg- 
son, and his chambers in Tom Quad are said to be the 
finest in Oxford. 

1897 September 25. Boston Daily Journal. Boston, 
Massachusetts. "Book notes in brief." p. 5. 

The Rev. Charles Dodgson (the author of "Alice in 
Wonderland" who has striven to hide his individual- 
ity under the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll), has spent 
the greater part of his life in college. He was elected 
a student of Christ Church, Oxford, England, in 1854 
and from 1855 to 1881 he was mathematical tutor. 
His special subject is mathematics and he has con- 
tributed a number of books to its literature. When 
in the flush of her success "Alice" was in every hand, 
and her "Wonderland" adventures were the delight 
of grown up people as well as of children, the Queen 
sent a message to the author, begging him to send her 
his next book, and was much astonished to receive 
soon afterward a copy of "An Elementary Treatise on 
Determinants" by C. L. Dodgson, for in those days 
he had managed to preserve his incognito, and the 
Queen, like the rest of the world, believed him to be 
a mere humorist. 

1897 December 1. Boston Morning Journal. Boston, 
Massachusetts. "Literary notes in brief." p. 7. 
The new edidon of "Alice's Adventures in Wonder- 
land," published by the Macmillan Company, is to be 
of 86,000. The illustrations have been retouched by 
Sir John Tenniel. As to "Through the Looking Glass," 
the first edidon will begin with 41,000. Lewis Carroll 
(Charles Dodgson), the author of these wonderful 
books, has written a special preface for the new edi- 
tions and explains several points which have puzzled 

1897 December 24. Dallas Morning News. Dallas, Tex- 
as. "A useful mathematical puzzle." p. 4. 
The Rev. Charles L. Dodgson of Christ Church is a 
sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In his above capac- 
ity he is a mathematician not unknown to fame. As 
Lewis Carroll he is one of the best known story tell- 
ers. The two existences overlap in that attractive work, 
"The Tangled Tale," which is a series of arithmetical 
puzzles conveyed in the form of amusing narrative. 
In "Nature" this week Mr. Dodgson came out stron- 
ger than ever in the arithmetical puzzle line, and 
has produced for the edification of school boys two 
new rules. Here is a rule for finding the quotient 
and remainder produced by dividing a given number 
by 9 . . . 

Note: Reprinted from the Pall Mall Gazette. Dodg- 
son's "Brief Method of Dividing a Given Number 
by 9 or 11" was published in Nature, no. 1459, 
October 14, 1897. 

After reviewing the above passages, one might think 
that "Lewis Carroll" — at least that form of Dodgson 's 
name — was not good enough for the Americans, even 
though, in Dodgson's opinion, the sheets of the 1865 
Alice, the 1886 Game of Logic, and the horribly gaudy 
Nursery Alice of 1889 were. 

Postscript: Because only a very small portion of Ameri- 
can newspapers from the last half of the nineteenth 
century have been digitized and made keyword search- 
able, subsequent searches of the newspaper databases, 
at least on an annual basis for the foreseeable future, 
may very xoell turn up earlier identifications of Carroll 
with Dodgson, as well as perhaps more wrongheaded 












It doesn't start off funny. Rather, it starts in full 
Victorian sentimentality. "All in the golden after- 
noon, full leisurely we glide . . . the dream-child 
moving through a land of wonders wild and new." 
How can these be the first words in the greatest com- 
ic novel ever written, the Mount Everest of humor? 
Luckily for us, Charles Dodgson only makes brief ap- 
pearances in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, here at 
the very start and again at the equally corny end. 

The story proper begins and, almost instandy, the 
fustiness of the opening poem is replaced with some- 
thing different: a loose, dreamy, wildly unpredictable 
sense of pure play. "Down The Rabbit Hole," the first 
chapter is called, and indeed — down we go, entering, 
in effect, Carroll's mind . . . which turns out to be a 
deeply strange place. 

As Alice struggles to escape the strange corridor 
the White Rabbit has led her to, you start to won- 
der: Is he the one who put the bottle and the cake 
out? Did he lead Alice here purposefully? Is he, in 
effect, Carroll himself? Given how many times Car- 
roll uses "white" to signify himself in the Alice books, 
it certainly seems plausible. Also, the White Rabbit, 
as portrayed — dithering, nervous, prissy — is a lot like 
Dodgson himself. If the Rabbit is the architect of all 
this, though, he's awfully good at pretending he's not. 
When Alice finally says hello to him, he seems genu- 
inely terrified and runs away at high speed. 

Up to this point, there is absolutely nothing fun- 
ny about Alice's journey underground. We have met 
only two characters: a frightened, lost little girl and a 
frantic, panicky rabbit. They have not even spoken to 
each other. It's a strange and unsettling beginning, 
and then Alice almost drowns in her own tears. She is 
literally contemplating her own death when, at long 
last, a third character appears. 

It's a mouse, and Alice ends up talking to it 
about — her cat! This is where one begins to under- 
stand that there is something dark and cruel about the 
comedy in the Alice books. Naturally, the mouse hates 
cats and doesn't want to talk about them. Alice politely 

Chris Matheson is a film writer and director whose credits 
include the Bill & led movies. 

changes the subject to dogs, specifically to a certain 
dog she knows that kills rats and — oops, sorry. 

Underneath its whimsical surface, this book is an 
extended exercise in emotional violence. If the book 
starts to become funny at this point — and it does — isn't 
it because this scared litde girl has shown us that she is, 
in fact, cold-hearted and maybe even a litde bit mean? 

But here's the thing: If Alice were a sweet litde 
girl, then the books wouldn't be funny. Once we real- 
ize whom we're dealing with here, what a stern and 
fierce little creature Alice really is, then all the awful 
things that happen to her become comedic, rather 
than scary. She invariably gives back as good as she 
gets, and in the end, much better. 

At this point in the book, you can feel Carroll 
starting to play. And no one had ever played like this 
before. Few have since. There is deep silliness, a joy- 
ful, carefree sense of improvisation. You can almost 
hear Alice and her friends starting to laugh, and you 
can almost feel Carroll's pleasure in this laughter. 

In a matter of just a few pages, Alice is out of dan- 
ger and essentially on a beach, visiting with what feels 
like a group of old friends. 

When the mouse storms off, Alice tells all the re- 
maining animals — mainly birds — how much she miss- 
es her cat. And why? Because she's so good at catching 
birds and eating them! Not surprisingly, all the little 
animals hurry away. Alice is alone again, regretting 
that she talked about the cat again. But of course, she 
doesn't really regret it, because Alice IS a cat — cold, 
casually cruel, inquisitive, sometimes social, but in the 
end, rather solitary. 

Something interesting happens now. After nearly 
40 pages, Alice and the White Rabbit finally speak 
to each other. But the White Rabbit thinks Alice is 
someone else, a certain "Mary Ann," whom he scolds 
for being "out here." (Out where? Where are we?) It's 
only when he points Alice in a certain direction that a 
new reality emerges. She arrives at a neat little house 
with the name "W. RABBIT" on it. Alice goes in to 
fetch the Rabbit's gloves and fan. She's found both 
articles, when she stops — seeing another litde bottle 
of liquid. 

So it's obvious now, it was the White Rabbit who 
placed the bottles and the cake in the hallway — it's 


obviously been him the whole time. But why? If he 
is a stand-in for Carroll, why did he lure Alice here, 
and what does he want from her? The answer, when it 
comes, is disturbing. He wants to kill her. 

He has commanded Alice into his house and 
placed another bottle there, knowing that she will 
want to drink it. When she does, growing so fast that 
she fills his house, he must put a "team" together to 
get this giantess out of his house. The lizard Bill, who 
is sent down the chimney, is the first — and one of the 
few — characters to actually get a name in the book. 
This is hilarious, because his entire role consists of 
being sent down the chimney and then being kicked 
back out by Alice's giant foot. He barely speaks; he 
doesn't even show any expression in the wonderful 
Tenniel drawing. 

The White Rabbit's next idea is to burn his own 
house down. Apparently, he is willing to destroy his 
own home in order to kill Alice. If the Rabbit is a 
stand-in for Carroll, we're getting a quick glimpse of 
the dark heart of the book. Carroll does not want Al- 
ice to grow up, he wants her to stay forever young. 
And there will be many more murderous impulses 
expressed towards Alice. 

No one on the Rabbit's team disagrees with him; 
they apparently all think burning his house down 
is a good idea. But Alice threatens them with — what 
else? — a cat, and now the Rabbit decides to stone her. 
Remember: this is the WHITE RABBIT, one of the most 
beloved characters in the book, decidedly not a villain. 
And he is proposing that Alice be stoned to death! 

Alice runs away from the White Rabbit's house 
and spends the next 50 pages in a place that feels a lot 
like Wonderland but — at least in her mind — is not. 
Oddly, Alice doesn't actually get to that little garden 
until two-thirds of the way through the book, and 
odder still, once she gets there, there's really nothing 
very wonderful about it. 

The Caterpillar on a mushroom, smoking a hoo- 
kah (which is funny in itself, if you ask me), is ludi- 
crously disagreeable, insufferably smug, and hugely 
pompous. He's a bug, and all he does is judge Alice. 
But Alice doesn't leave, because she has nothing else 
to do; in fact, she has no mission, nothing to do, no 
one to save, nothing. She is just here, for no real rea- 
son, doing nothing in particular. So stopping and 
reciting a crazy little poem is as purposeful as any- 
thing else. At the Caterpillar's request, Alice recites 
"You are old, Father William." It's the only portrait of 
a father figure in the book. The father is a blustery, 
ludicrous, nasty old man who, in the end, tells his son 
to go away or "I'll kick you downstairs." There is not, 
there CANNOT be, authority in Wonderland; that is 
the essential source of the book's wild, anarchic ab- 
surdism. There is no father figure, no one running 
things; there is, in effect, no God in Wonderland. No 
authority, no judge, no moral center. 

Alice's remaining conversation with the Caterpil- 
lar is a complete disaster. This tough, acerbic little 
girl and this pompous, pipe-smoking insect finish by 
insulting each other for no good reason. Eventually 
the Caterpillar just leaves. No goodbye, no see-you- 
later, nothing. It's a ridiculously blunt ending to this 
delicious ly failed conversation. 

Alice then meets the Duchess, the first human 
being we've met. (Or is she? She's nine inches tall, af- 
ter all.) There has been emotional brutality and even 
physical violence up to now — but this scene takes 
things to an entirely new level. The Duchess's yelling 
and the cook's violence are shockingly mean, with- 
out any moralizing whatsoever. It's a wild, dangerous, 
delirious scene. Why doesn't Alice run from this in- 
sane, menacing nightmare of motherhood? If Father 
William discredited fatherhood, the Duchess utterly 
demolishes the idea of motherhood, and it's aston- 
ishingly cruel — you almost can't believe what you're 
reading. This is a children's classic? 

And yet, it's hugely funny and reckless and wild. 
The fact that the cook is throwing pans at her employ- 
er and the baby seems to weirdly sing along with the 
Duchess's horrible little lullaby, while the Cheshire 
Cat smiles, well, it makes you look at the whole situ- 
ation and realize: They're all having FUN, they're all 

The Duchess's exit is even more blunt and abrupt 
than the Caterpillar's. This is a fantasy world where 
pretty much everyone is unpleasant and rude, and 
Alice is just not that important to them. These char- 
acters were here before Alice arrived, and they will be 
here after she's gone. 

The Cheshire Cat is unlike everyone else in Won- 
derland. It is not terrified, panicky, belligerent, or 
bombastic. It is good-natured, pleasant, even slightly 
helpful. And perhaps because it is so quiet (remem- 
ber, when we first met it, it didn't even speak; it just 
sat there and observed), it's hard not to see a bit of 
Carroll in the Cat too. It is, more or less, Alice's only 
friend and ally in this world — but at the same time, it 
is a little bit scary to her, too. It has "very long claws 
and a great many teeth," she observes. 

It's a fascinating little scene, not as raucously 
funny as some but possibly the most resonant scene 
in the book, and certainly the only time that there 
is any genuine warmth or sweetness. (It's two cats, 
after all.) The Cheshire Cat ends up making one of 
those wonderfully abrupt exits — simply disappearing 
in midair — except that it doesn't. It reappears and 
starts talking to Alice again, and the overall effect is 
uncanny. If the book is like a dream — and of course 
it is — then meeting the Cat is like meeting someone 
in a dream and having him say to you, 'You're dream- 
ing, you know." In a sense, the Cat stands outside the 
rest of the .book, is an observer of both Wonderland 
and its young visitor. 


And now the middle third of the book hits its 
overwhelming comedic climax, the Mad Tea Party, 
which is the most memorable scene in Wonderland, 
taking all of its earlier themes to new, inspired, nearly 
disturbing heights. 

Alice enters a party that seems to have been go- 
ing on more or less indefinitely, and really, it's hard 
to imagine how it could ever end. Her arrival doesn't 
even seem to matter to the others. 

The much-abused Dormouse is oddly reminis- 
cent of Lucky in "Waiting for Godot," and the Hatter 
and Hare are strangely like Pozzo in their over-the- 
top cruelty. The Dormouse's story of girls in wells (is 
the Dormouse male or female, and would it make the 
scene even creepier if it's a girl?) makes Alice's emo- 
tions start to flare; for the first time she's actually an- 
gry, demanding "But why did they live at the bottom 
of a well?" It's as if the madness and meaninglessness 
of the underworld are starting to pull at Alice, and 
she's fighting them off. 

When they all switch places, you start to feel the 
deep weirdness of this situation: The March Hare and 
die Mad Hatter are both sadistic adult males who do 
not seem to have young Alice's best interests in mind. 
(Their first move, recall, was to offer liquor to Alice.) 
The scene does not have an explicidy sexual quality to 
it — it would be far too disturbing if it did — but there 
is something foreboding about the situation as it plays 
out. If Alice were not the tough, feisty litde girl we 
know her to be, this might be a dark turning point in 
the book; she could be essentially kept here at the Mad 
Tea Party by the domineering Hatter and Hare. Before 
long, she could be the one being abused. But thank- 
fully, that is not our Alice. She promptly stands up 
and simply walks out. It's another one of those weirdly 
abrupt endings, only this time it's Alice exiting. 

In the Mad Tea Party, we see the dark side of a 
world without authority; it's brutal, vicious, and amor- 
al — dominated by the strongest and fiercest. Darwin- 
ian, you might even say. (Recall that On the Origin of 
Species came out less than a decade before Alice.) 

Maybe Carroll got Alice out of the Tea Party be- 
cause he knew where this was going. Maybe he scared 
himself. Whatever the case, the book has walked right 
to the brink of absolute nihilism — but now pulls back. 
The powerfully wild, anarchic humor of the Duchess 
and the Tea Party, the bizarre dreamlike appearance 
of the Cheshire Cat, the frankly hallucinatory, fever- 
dream quality of the previous 50 pages is now replaced 
with something much more cerebral, mathematical, 
and organized. The rest of the book is still funny, but 
the dark visionary quality of the middle third is gone. 
One feels that Carroll took the story to the brink of 

madness and depravity — and now Dodgson is reining 
it back in. 

Throughout the rest of the book, many major 
characters will make return appearances. But Play- 
ing-card-land seems to neuter them, strip them of 
their mystery and power. Why is the Cat even here, 
you wonder? When the Queen stomps up and the 
Duchess cowers before her, it's odd. Our Duchess 
would clobber this playing-card queen; she wouldn't 
be scared of her in the least, she'd STOMP her. The 
Queen dominates this part of the book, yet she feels 
thin and inconsequential. 

There has been plenty of wordplay throughout 
the book — Carroll obviously loves it — but it's felt sec- 
ondary. Now, however, as the deeper, darker roots of 
the book start to wither, the wordplay takes over. You 
realize at this point that this is what the whole book 
could have felt like. Carroll didn't really want to go 
to that strange inner place, it just sort of happened. 
He wanted to be here, in the realm of the mildly silly, 
not in that scary, menacing place where the Mad Tea 
Party occurred. Maybe Carroll didn't even mean to go 
there, maybe this part of the book, this pretty, mani- 
cured garden (Wonderland, ironically), was always 
the destination. We know it was for Alice. 

But there's no getting around it. The rest of the 
book is disappointing. In the greatest comedy ever 
written, it seems somehow beneath the creator to 
make "jokes." It's so pedestrian and ordinary. 

At the very end of the book, however, is some- 
thing very interesting, a poem filled with a vague, 
veiled romantic longing: 

. . . this must ever be 

A secret, kept from all the rest, 
Between yourself and me. 

Alice herself considers the poem nonsense: "I 
don't believe there's an atom of meaning in it." But 
isn't this meaningless little poem really the point of 
the whole book? It took Carroll 165 pages to finally 
tell Alice how he feels about her. 

The book ends on a somber note: Alice's older 
sister — whom we know nothing about, who is not 
even given a name — starts to think about how Al- 
ice will soon grow up, become a woman ("her riper 
years"), have children of her own. Yet, she knows, 
Alice will always remember "her own childhood and 
the happy, summer days." The love and tenderness 
Carroll feels for this little girl redeems — indeed trans- 
forms — the final few pages of the book. In the end, 
the most inspired comedic book ever written is a mes- 
sage of love. 





C* L* Dodgson s Atwt Lwcy 




ucy Lutwidge was the sixth child and third 
daughter of Charles Lutwidge (1768-1848) 
Jhhm^.uh I his wife, Elizabeth Anne nee Dodgson 
(1770-1836), daughter of the Right Rev. Charles 
Dodgson, Bishop of Elphin. She was born in 1805, 
two years after her sister, Frances "Fanny" Jane (1803- 
1851), who became Lewis Carroll's mother. The two 
sisters were always very close, and when Fanny mar- 
ried Charles Dodgson (1800-1868), the friendship 
continued to be strong. There exist in the Dodgson 
family several letters between the two sis- 
ters that have been preserved. From 
these we discover that Lucy, who re- 
mained unmarried, supported her 
sister's married life by sending gifts 
to her and her growing family, and 
showing a great interest in the chil- 
dren and their well-being. She was 
also on very good terms with her 
brother-in-law, and visited the fam- 
ily from time to time. Fortunately, 
Lucy had the characteristics of a 
"collector" and she kept the letters 
she received, and also photographs 
given to her later in life. 

Charles and Elizabeth Lut- 
widge resided at Hull from 1805, 
so it is likely that Lucy was born at 
the family home in Albion Street. 
Charles Lutwidge, MA St. John's, 
Cambridge, was a collector of H. 
M. Customs at Hull for 35 years, 
an educated man with wide inter- 
ests. Among other activities, he 
was one of the founders of the Bo- 
tanic Gardens at Linnaeus Street 
at Hull, and president of the Hull 
Literary and Philosophical Society. Lucy's upbringing 
was upper middle class — a privileged position in so- 
ciety without money worries — and she was probably 
educated at home with her sisters. Her eldest sister, 
Elizabeth Frances (1798-1883), married Thomas 
Raikes in 1825. Her three younger sisters, Charlotte 
Menella (1807-1857), Margaret Anne (1809-1869), 
and Henrietta Mary (1811-1872), were all spinsters. 
Her eldest brother, Skeffington, appears to have died 

young, so she would not have known him. To her, 
Charles Henry (1800-1843), who married Anne 
Louisa Raikes in 1831, was her eldest brother. The 
remaining brother was Robert Wilfred Skeffington 
(1802-1873); he was also unmarried, and a favorite 
uncle to Lewis Carroll. 

One of the surviving letters between Lucy and 
Fanny is dated March 18, 1828 (MS: Dodgson Fam- 
ily), almost a year after Fanny married on April 5, 
1827, at Christ Church, Hull. It was written by Fanny 
and is addressed to "Miss Lutwidge, 
Hull," from "The Residence 
of the happy Trio." The first 
child and daughter of Fan- 
ny and Charles Dodgson, 
named Frances Jane after 
her mother, was born on 
February 5, 1828. From the 
letter it is clear that Lucy 
had been with her sister for 
the birth, but had then re- 
turned home where she re- 
ceived this up-to-date report 
of the baby. Fanny wrote, 
"Oh that you could but see 
our darling baby — I am sure 
you would think her in ev- 
ery respect so wonderfully 
improved, much more . . . 
like a child of 3 months old 
than one of six weeks." The 
letter goes on to plan a fur- 
ther visit from Lucy in the 
summer months so that she 
can see the "little miniature 
of perfection with her large 
brilliant, intelligent eyes, 
her sweet feet, mottled neck and arms, her lovely 
smile, etc. . . ." Fanny exchanges some social gossip, 
and ends by saying that she will write to her mother 
with news of the baby and the "non-likeable nurse" 
soon, and signs off with "united best love to you all 
my dearest Lucy, believe me to be, your most affec- 
tionate Sister, F.J. Dodgson." 

Fanny's unmarried sisters collected together 
items for the Dodgson family such as clothes, hats, 

Aunt Lucy Lutwidge, busies herself sewing, taken at Croft 
Rectory. We do not know the. exact image number given 
to this photograph or when it was taken, but it is likely to 
be around 439 and taken during the summer of 1859. 
(Dodgson. Family Collection) 


dress material, books, toys for the children, and then 
assembled them in parcels so that they could be de- 
livered to the family. They fully appreciated that the 
Dodgson family was by no means wealthy. Charles 
Dodgson was perpetual curate at Daresbury, a poor 
living in the gift of Christ Church. To supplement 
his income, he took in paying pupils whenever he 
could, but life was hard. The Lutwidge sisters made 
sure that the family had the occasional treat. 

Another surviving letter is from Charles Dodg- 
son to Lucy and is dated May 22, 1830 (MS: Dodgson 
Family). He reports the birth of a second daughter, 
Elizabeth Lucy, born on May 7, 1830: "[T]hey cannot 
possibly be going on better — either of them — a series 
of good nights and good dinners eaten with good ap- 
petite on the one hand, and a continual alternation 
of eating and sleeping on the other seems to be ad- 
vancing both mother and babe to the highest point of 
preparation." He goes on to say, "Little Fanny is very 
blooming and delicious — she now calls the baby 'Lip- 
salve' and her favourite game is pretending to catch 
fleas on her. This is an invention 
of her own and on the whole not a 
bad idea. Fanny desires me to send 
her best thanks for the gown. . . ." 
Added to the letter is a note to Lucy 
from her unmarried cousin Menella 
Hume ( 1 805-1 896) , who was staying 
with the Dodgsons to look after Fan- 
ny. The note indicates that Lucy had 
been with the family again for the 
birth, and ends: "Charles says that 
when he looks at his dear wife and 
two sweet girls that he is overcome 
with delight — indeed he has many 

By 1832, the Dodgson family 
had three children. Fanny wrote to 
Lucy on July 26, 1832 (MS: Dodgson 
Family) : 

My dearest Lucy, 
The Boxes have arrived and 
everything has travelled as well 
.as possible — everything is quite 
perfect of its kind and very much liked by us 
all. Now comes the impossible part — now I 
must try in vain to find words to express what 
I feel — you are all most kind, most consider- 
ate, and far too liberal. I only wish very sin- 
cerely that it was in our power to offer you 
something better than thanks for all your 
extremely kind, most useful, most acceptable 
presents and for the enormity of trouble you 
have all, especially you my dearest Lucy, have 
taken for us — our thanks however, of the best 
and most sincere kind you have, which for the 

present, have the kindness to distribute plenti- 
fully around you, as well as to accept yourself. 
. . . not forgetting good old Miss Weddel — pray 
say a great deal that is kind to her for me. Tell 
her that the darling little girls are in raptures 
with the Doll and that two of the Caps she has 
so kindly made for our little treasure fit him 
(CLD) nicely and that I should be delighted 
to see her and to show her all our sweet pets. 
. . . Today being ironing day and all the darlings 
are on Menella's and my hands, I have only 
time to write briefly to you to assure you that 
I quite appreciate your very great kindness in 
employing yourself so much and so beautifully 
in the children and my service — indeed my 
dearest Lucy it is quite a drawback to my com- 
fort when I think that your last indisposition of 
which we are very sorry to hear, has in all prob- 
ability been partly if not wholly caused by your 
working so much more than I had any idea of 
your doing and having so much on your mind 
to arrange and man- 
age. You have executed 
everything to admira- 
tion. The Caps are quite 
beaudful — exactly what I 
like and fit me perfectly 
well — the Gowns, Baby's 
Frocks, Coat, Hat, Shoes, 
Socks, and everything 
are also quite to my taste 
and most useful. The 
Boxes did not arrive till 
late last night. I have not 
therefore yet had time 
to try on the Gowns, 
Frocks, etc. The litde Hat 
is lovely and fits sweetest 
Charles Lutwidge beauti- 
fully — so do your pretty 
little shoes. . . . Dearest 
Charles is quite aware of 
the unbrotherly way in 
which he has treated you 
and would have written 
his thanks to you and dearest Papa and Mama 
for the Books today, but having had a Club 
Sermon to preach this morning and a lecture 
to prepare for this evening, he is obliged to 
defer doing so. . . . 

The letter goes on to discuss ways in which Fanny 
might repay Lucy for her generosity in sending five 
boxes of clothes, books, and other gifts. However, the 
financial circumstances of the Dodgson family made 
this a "wish" rather than a "possibility." Many of the 
items were clearly made by Lucy, who was a diligent 




/ filJr^&t 

^r^W * J 

C -IB m 

Taken at Croft Rectory during Hie, summer of 1H59, this 
photo depicts Aunt Lucy's enquiring mind as she pens 
down a microscope. (Bradford) 


and accomplished dressmaker, knitter, and general 
seamstress. Her new nephew eventually took a number 
of photographs of Lucy, and in one she is seen with 
needle and thread in hand. Lucy also included gifts 
for the Dodgson servants. The letter reveals that Fan- 
ny's husband received some imitation silk stockings, 
and the litde girls received a new head for their doll, 
Anna (one assumes the previous head was broken). 
Finally, Fanny gives some news of neighbours, clearly 
known to Lucy, and reports that there is no cholera in 
Daresbury, but the account from Warrington (a few 
miles away) is not quite so good. 

As we know, the family grew constantly until 
there were eleven children, the last being born at 
the family's new home at Croft-on-Tees. They moved 
to Yorkshire when Charles Dodgson gained a new, 
more lucrative, position as Rector of Croft in 1843. 
This enabled the Dodgsons to send their eldest son to 
school, first at Richmond, and then to Rugby School. 
Young Charles worked hard and gained many prizes, 
so it is hardly surprising that his proud mother kept 
her sister fully informed about his successes. Writing 
"in dashing haste" to Lucy on June 25, 1847, Fan- 
ny tells her that "dearest Charlie came home safely 
yesterday bringing with him two handsome prize 
books! One gained last Christmas, Arnold's Modern 
History, the other Thierry's Norman Conquest just 
now gained for having been the best in Composi- 
tion (Latin and English verse and prose) in his form 
during the half. He is also 2nd in marks — 53 boys in 
his form — they have marks for everything they do in 
their daily work and at the end of the half they are 
added up. Charlie would have had a prize for being 
second in marks, but they are not allowed to have 
two prizes at one time, so he chose the composition 
prize. He is to go into a higher form when he returns 
to school. Dearest Charlie is thinner than he was but 
looks well and is in the highest spirits: delighted at 
his success at school. . . ." 

Some of these school prizes have survived. Tho- 
mas Arnold's Introductory Lectures on Modern His- 
tory (1845) is inscribed, "Lower Fifth Form. Charles 
Lutwidge Dodgson from the Masters of Rugby School. 
Examination, Christmas 1846" (Wakeling Collec- 
tion) , The History of the Popes, Their Church and State by 
Leopold Ranke in three volumes (1847) is inscribed, 
"Charles Lutwidge Dodgson from The Masters of 
Rugby School, Xmas 1847" (sold at auction in 2007), 
and The Constitutional History of England by Henry Hal- 
lam, fifth edition in two volumes (1846), is inscribed, 
"Charles Lutwidge Dodgson from The Masters of 
Rugby School. 2nd Mathemadcal Prize. Sep. 1849" 
(private collection). 

Young Charles's dme at Rugby School gave his 
modier frequent cause to write to Lucy with news 
of his progress. In a letter dated November 11 (the 
year is almost certainly 1847): "With regard to dear- 

est Charlie I hoped to have heard from him again to- 
day, but I have not. In his letter received on Tuesday 
he says that the mumps had gone but that they had 
left him much more deaf than usual — this we trust is 
quite to be accounted for from the nature of the com- 
plaint and may probably last longer than the visible 
swelling of the glands. Charles has however written to 
Dr. Tait telling him of Charlie's former deafness and 
its source (Infandle fever) and requesting him to take 
the best medical opinion within his reach and to re- 
port it immediately to us. . . ." The deafness persisted 
throughout Charles's life. 

On February 15 (probably 1848), Fanny wrote 
again to Lucy: "I must tell you myself, as I know you 
will be glad to hear it, that dearest Charlie has got his 
remove into the 'Upper Middle,' which is very gratify- 
ing to him and to us all. I have had a nice letter from 
him today." On March 24, she wrote to Lucy: 'You will 
I am sure be as surprised as we are to hear that dearest 
Charlie really has got the hooping cough [sic], after 
having been so proof against the complaint during 
the whole of his last summer holiday, constantly nurs- 
ing and playing with the little ones who had it so de- 
cidedly. I cannot of course help feeling anxious and 
fidgety about him, but at this very favourable time of 
year for it, I trust the complaint will be of very short 
continuance and that with care he will get through it 
as well as our other darlings have done. He writes in 
excellent spirits and evidently feeling quite well — for 
this I am indeed most thankful. " 

The whooping cough appeared to last for a con- 
siderable time, and Charles came home to Croft 
before it was quite ended. Fanny again wrote to her 
sister on July 5: "I think I may now say that dearest 
Charlie's hooping cough has quite gone — he rarely 
coughs and never really hoops so that he began last 
Sunday to go to church as usual — he is quite well and 
strong — and his appetite and spirits never fail. At the 
Railroad games, which the darlings all delight in, he 
tries and proves his strength in the most persevering 
way, Edwin always being glad to accept any number 
of tickets — your capital Horse is most useful on the 
occasion. . . ." Clearly, Lucy had given the children a 
wooden horse to play with. 

Lucy was aware of the internal Dodgson fam- 
ily magazines instigated by Charles, and even made 
a contribution to one of them, the Rectory Magazine 
(1848-1850). Her contribution was a mock-advertise- 
ment for a maid, with many dudes to perform. Lucy 
herself was a very active and busy person engaged in 
creadve tasks, making clothes and hats, making lace, 
and knitting bonnets, gloves, socks, and whatever was 
needed in the household. Although humorous in 
tone, the adverdsement indicates the chores neces- 
sary in a large growing family such as the Dodgsons, 
and must have been a reflecdon of the actual state 
of this household, somewhat exaggerated for comic 


effect. It was headed "Wanted immediately" and the 
text is as follows: 

A Maid of all work, in a large but quiet fam- 
ily where cows, pigs, and poultry are kept. She 
must be able to churn, cure hams and bacon, 
and occasionally make cheese. Five only of the 
children are entirely under her care, but she 
is expected to do the needlework for seven. 
She must be able to take twins from a month 
old, and to bring them up by hand, also to 
cany both out of doors together, as no other 
servant is kept. She will be required to have 
Breakfast on the table at 9, Luncheon at 12, 
Dinner at 3 (when she will wait at table), Tea 
at 6, and Supper at 9. Baking done at home 
as also the washing, and in winter brewing. 
No perquisites allowed or going out with- 
out leave. All leisure time to be spent in gar- 
dening. A cheerfulness of disposition and a 
willingness to oblige indispensable. Wages 
£3. 3s. Od. a year, with or without tea and 
sugar accordingly as she gives satisfaction. 
Apply to R. Z. Happy Grove, Mount Pleasant, 
by letter, post-paid. 

From this, we can detect a real sense of humor 
in Lucy, and a deep knowledge of internal Dodgson 
family matters, in which she was keen to participate, 
little realizing at the time that her role would become 
permanent very soon. 

The letters above are just a sample of the cor- 
respondence between the two sisters. Every detail 
of the Dodgson family life was transmitted to Lucy. 
Sadly, none of her return letters appear to have sur- 
vived. The friendly correspondence continued, with 
Lucy showing a great interest in all of the Dodgson 
clan. And then in January 1851, the unimaginable 
happened — Fanny took ill and died suddenly and un- 
expectedly. Young Charles, aged almost 19, had just 
left to begin his career at Christ Church, but now re- 
turned after only a couple of days. The death certifi- 
cate announced "inflammation of the brain," which 
tells us very little. Edwin, her eleventh and youngest 
child, was only four years old when she died. Cousin 
Menella Hume again came to the family's aid in the 
immediate aftermath of Fanny Dodgson 's death, but 
it was Lucy Lutwidge who held the family together. 
In a selfless act, she gave up her own life in Hull, 
moved in with the Dodgson children, and took over 
the running of the family, allowing Charles Dodgson 
to continue as Rector of Croft. Lucy was well placed 
to take over the family — she knew them all well, and 
they were comfortable in her company. She had good 
household management skills, doted on the children, 
knew all the servants, and had a good relationship 
with her brother-in-law. 

Charles Dodgson's aunt, Mary Smedley, wrote 
to him on February 13, 1851: "What a treasure you 
have in Lucy — that kind and excellent creature whose 
whole heart is now wrapped up in you and whose life 
will be devoted to your children — and it is a comfort 
to think what a very superior and sensible girl Fanny 
Jane is and how perfecdy well fitted to assist Lucy and 
take her place whenever it may be desirable and dear 
Elizabeth Lucy treading in her steps and always ready 
to be kind and useful. What a blessing also to look at 
your large family and not in any one of diem to see 
the slightest trace of faulty tempers and disposition. 
Menella [her niece] is especially struck by this. . . ." 

Thus, Lucy Lutwidge assumed the role of mother 
in a grief-stricken family of eleven children. The eld- 
est, Fanny Jane, was aged 23, but five were under the 
age of 12. Her brother-in-law was to become canon of 
Ripon the following year, and Archdeacon of Rich- 
mond two years after that, commitments that would 
have been impossible without someone to look af- 
ter his large family, organize the servants, and act as 
housekeeper. Aunt Lucy appears to have taken on this 
new role in her life willingly and with enthusiasm. 

She continued giving gifts to the family. In 1853, 
when Charles reached the age of 21, she gave him a 
number of books for his birthday. These were entitled 
Introduction to the Literature oj Europeby Henry Hallam, 
third edition in three volumes (1847), and View of The 
State of Europeby Henry Hallam, tenth edition in three 
volumes (1853). They were both inscribed: "Charles 
Lutwidge Dodgson. From his most affectionate Aunt 
Lucy Lutwidge. A Birthday Gift. January 27th 1853" 
(private collection). From his diaries, we know that 
Aunt Lucy sent him a sofa cover for his 23rd birthday. 
In return, on March 28, 1855, her nephew had his pho- 
tograph taken by Booth at Ripon for her new album. 

There are a number of surviving letters from 
Charles to his aunt. He kept her informed about the 
events in his life, as he would have done for his moth- 
er had she lived. This example is dated April 2, 1866 
(MS: Dodgson Family): 

My dear Aunt, 

In sorting out a quantity of old letters, I have 
come on two belonging to you, which I here- 
with enclose. Edwin's I should think you would 
like to keep, if only as a specimen of orthog- 
raphy. I have very little to write about. Since 
the end of Collections [end of term reports] 
I have been sorting cupboards full of books, 
papers, etc., in fact doing a lot of work that I 
never have time for during term. Tomorrow I 
am off for a few days' pleasuring. 

First I go to Mr. Slatter's (Rev. J. Slatter, 
Streatley, Reading) and on Thursday I go on 
to town: but as I have not fixed on a hotel, you 
had better direct to Streatley till further no- 


tice. Have you got your album from Parkins 8c 
Gotto yet? If not, and if I get into that neigh- 
bourhood, I will call and ask about it. 

My old enemy, neuralgia, has shifted its 
quarters from the neck to the face, where it 
gave me several days of considerable pain, 
partly I fancy owing to the weather, and partly 
to a hollow tooth. However summer weather 
has come, the tooth is stopped, and the neu- 
ralgia gone for the present, I am happy to say. 
I interested myself in making out from my Cy- 
clopedia its exact name, which I believe to be 
"neuralgia suborbitalis." 

Yesterday I had some Sunday work, for 
the first time for a long while, assisting at the 
8 a.m. Communion, St. Mary Magdalen (Mr. 
Tyrwhitt's church) and preaching there in 
the afternoon. I should think it a very difficult 
church to fill, consisting as it does of 5 paral- 
lel aisles, divided by arches and pillars — how- 
ever he thinks I was sufficiently heard. It was 
the shortest time I ever had for preparation, 
as I was only asked after the Communion in 
the morning. I had about an hour before the 
morning service, and about 2 hours after. 

Will you tell Mary that "Good-night in the 
Porch" has long been a favourite poem with 
me. "Owen Meredith" is really Edward Robert 
Bulwer Lytton, son of the baronet. 

No tidings of curates, except that Mr. 
Chamberlain recommends a "literate," who 
wants a curacy and title: he is poor in money, 
but good in quality, he says — won't do, I fear. 
Your ever affectionate Nephew, 

C. L. Dodgson 

The album was for Aunt Lucy's growing collec- 
tion of photographs. Cartes-de-visite had become the 
rage, and Lucy embraced the fashion of displaying 
these photographs in elaborate albums. Charles re- 
ported in a letter to his aunt, dated June 27, that he 
had canceled the order with Parkins 8c Gotto, since 
they had failed to honor the order, and he had found 
an alternative: "a very neat album, holding 120, 4 in 
a page . . . for £1 — only it is not linenjointed, and so 
has more tendency to come to pieces. A linenjointed 
one of that size would be about £2. If you will tell me 
the price you are willing to go to, I will get you the 
best I can for the money." 

He also reported what would have been of great 
interest to Lucy: developments with her nephew, Wil- 
fred, who was aged 27 and showing a romantic interest 
in Alice Donkin. He wrote: "I have had a good deal of 
talk with Wilfred, who does not seem to take it at all as 
a disappointment not having got this agency — in fact, 
so far as I can make out, it would have been no gain: 
about £600 a year, leading to nothing higher, whereas 
in his present position he ought soon to arrive at that 

income, with almost unlimited prospects of advance. 
He leaves town this week for a month at Howden. He 
seems quite to have put aside the thought of Alice for 
the present, to take it up again de novo 2 or 3 years 
hence, and he does not seem by any means certain 
that both parties will then be of their present mind, 
so much may happen meanwhile." 

Charles offered to take some of the family to 
Whitby that summer in 1866, and indicated in the 
same letter to Lucy: "How many go, and which, is a 
question I leave entirely to the sisterhood to setde 
among themselves: with them I include you (who I 
hope will be able to come) and Edwin." 

Charles discussed the subject of Wilfred's pros- 
pects with his Uncle Skeffington Lutwidge, and noted 
in his diary for October 17, 1866: "On Saturday Uncle 
Skeffington dined with me, and on Sunday I dined 
with him at the Randolph, and on each occasion we 
had a good deal of conversation about Wilfred, and 
about A. L. — it is a very anxious subject." This entry 
has puzzled and confused people for many years. As 
we know, Wilfred married Alice Donkin some four 
years later, and this matter was resolved. But who was 
A. L.? I think I now know who it was, and the nature of 
the concern. Initials tended to be used by Charles for 
family members, and in this case it was a very close rel- 
ative to both of them: Uncle Skeffington 's sister, and 
Charles's Aunt Lucy (A. L.). Speculation that it was 
Alice Liddell is, to me, highly unlikely, uncharacteris- 
tic in the way Charles wrote his diary, and without any 
cause or foundation. But Aunt Lucy was beginning to 
give some concern — her sight was deteriorating, and 
eventual blindness seemed a possibility. At this time, 
no solution was found, but see below. 

Following the death of Archdeacon Dodgson in 
1868, the family of sisters, together with Aunt Lucy, 
moved to "The Chestnuts" at Guildford. Aunt Lucy, 
now aged 63, was ably supported in household mat- 
ters by the eldest, Fanny Jane, but all financial deci- 
sions became the province of the eldest son, Charles. 
He leased the property for his aunt and sisters, and 
managed the trust fund set up by their father to sup- 
port the daughters, currently all unmarried. 

As time went by, Aunt Lucy's preoccupation 
with sewing and knitting and other activities requir- 
ing good eyesight began to take its toll. As already 
mentioned, she began to lose her sight, which must 
have been a great threat to her lifestyle and happi- 
ness. Charles realized that action was necessary. His 
diary recorded for July 20, 1871: "Went to town, and 
escorted Aunt Ltxcy (with Fanny) on a visit to Mr. 
Crichett [sic], the oculist, and saw them into train at 
Waterloo." George Anderson Critchett (1845-1925) 
was the senior ophthalmic surgeon at St Mary's Hos- 
pital, London — a young man destined to go far, who 
was knighted in 1901, and became surgeon oculist to 
King Edward VII. The consultation revealed that Aunt 


Lucy was probably developing cataracts, and would 
eventually go blind without an operation. In early Oc- 
tober 1871, she had a successful operation on both 
eyes, which almost certainly was undertaken by Mr. 
Critchett in London. She then stayed at her brother's 
home at 101 Onslow Square, London, where she took 
her convalescence, and was attended to by Margaret 
Dodgson (see Diaries for November 1, 1871). 

Charles's Aunt Henrietta Mary Lutwidge died on 
October 9, 1872, at her home in Hastings. Of his moth- 
er's five sisters, only two now remained: Aunt Lucy 
and Aunt Elizabeth Frances Raikes, nee Lutwidge. 
The Hastings and St. Leonards Chronicle (October 16, 
1872) reported that Hen- 
rietta Lutwidge and her 
sisters had been great sup- 
porters of local charities 
and had benefited the 
community in many differ- 
ent ways, as Sunday School 
teachers, as agents for 
Church Missionaries, and 
in providing shelter for 
fallen women. The funeral 
was held on October 12, 
attended by Uncle Skeff- 
ington as chief mourner, 
and her nephews, Fletcher 
Lutwidge, Charles and his 
brother Skeffington, and 
Uncle Hassard Dodgson. 
As befitted the times, Aunt 
Lucy and Dodgson 's sister 
Margaret were in Hastings 
but did not attend the fu- 
neral service. The house, 2 
Wellington Square, was left 
to Lucy, who continued to 
make use of it, often taking 
some of the Dodgson sis- 
ters there for a break from 
the Guildford home, and 
Charles visited from time to time. 

When Aunt Lucy reached the age of 75, her 
health began to deteriorate, much to the concern 
of all the Dodgson family, who had relied on her for 
so many years. Charles noted in his diary on April 5, 
1880: "To town [London] again. Called on Mr. Wilkes, 
at 19 Whitehall Place, and had a talk about Aunt Lucy, 
whose powers of expressing herself are fast passing 
away. He did not think anything could be done, but 
that organic change is going on in the brain, and is 
a sign of a general break-up." James Wilkes was a sur- 
geon and family friend. 

Clearly, there was little hope, and it was left to the 
Dodgson sisters to nurse and care for their aunt as she 
began to fade, but the decline was drawn out over a 

Aunt Lucy standing outside Croft Lectory, taken dur- 
ing the summer of I860. She holds in her right hand 
what appears to be a flower in a small pot. (Dodgson 
Family Collection) 

number of months. On the evening of September 3, 
1880, Fanny sent Charles a telegram indicating that 
Aunt Lucy was in a critical state. He immediately left 
for London, staying overnight, and traveling to "The 
Chestnuts" early the following morning. He recorded: 
"Went on to Guildford by the 7 a.m. train and saw my 
dear Aunt about 8, sufficiently conscious to know me. 
But she soon became unconscious, and died about 4 
in the afternoon, with us round her, as well as her own 
maid Watts. I read the commendatory prayer, and, af- 
ter she had ceased to breathe, the thanksgiving from 
the Burial Service. I am very glad to be here, to help 
in such matters as seeing the undertakers etc." 

The funeral took place at St. Mary's 
Church, Guildford, on September 8, 
1880. Charles wrote: "The first part of 
the service was in the church — then we 
walked up to the cemetery, the coffin 
being on a hand-bier on wheels. Two 
flies conveyed five of the girls, Lizzie 
Wilcox, and Watts (Eliza Watts, Lu- 
cy's personal maid). Skeffington and I 
walked with Harry Wilcox. Aunt Eliza- 
beth was in the church. Edwin had ar- 
rived the night before but was not well 
enough to attend the funeral." Aunt 
Lucy was buried in the Mount Cem- 
etery, Guildford. 

Charles traveled to London the 
following day, and visited the family 
solicitor, Mr. Wainewright, and handed 
him Aunt Lucy's will. Charles took re- 
sponsibility for dealing with his aunt's 
estate, and there is evidence that this 
resulted in an extensive correspond- 
ence. He and his brother Wilfred were 
the executors of Aunt Lucy's will, in 
which she left £100 to Charles, £400 
to Wilfred, £400 to Edwin, £500 to 
Mary Collingwood, and £100 to her 
niece Elizabeth Lucy Lowthorpe. The 
rest was shared among the remaining 
sisters and Skeffington, with an annuity of £75 to be 
paid to her sister, Elizabeth Frances Raikes. She gave 
all her personal belongings, her house in Hastings, 
and all its contents, to Fanny Dodgson. 

To summarize, Lucy chose to devote her life to 
the family of her deceased and much-loved sister. She 
supported them unsparingly and totally, and took the 
role of surrogate mother, especially to the younger 
members of the family. Her sense of duty knew no 
bounds. She was an intelligent woman, interested in 
scientific matters, well skilled in household crafts and 
management, well read, kind and motherly while re- 
maining a spinster, and a devoted aunt to her brood 
of nephews and nieces. 




^Sc* ' 




leaves j:nom 
rhe Deaneny Ganben 

I am more and more impressed 
with the quality, dedication, and 
far-ranging work of all of the won- 
derful volunteers of LCSNA. 

I still have the child's version of 
Alice that led me to my modest col- 
lection. It still has the old chroma- 
tography cover (1920 or earlier?) 
and is now somewhat crumbled 
at the edges. It was my mother's 

Irene F. Hansen 

Oak Park, IL 

I spotted a young woman reading 
AATW on the Muni subway this 
evening, and happily I had copies 
of our brochure on hand to take 
to my drawing group. I gave her a 
brochure, which I saw her reading 
carefully, and she had tucked it 
into her book when left the train. 
Fingers crossed for a new member! 

Andrew Ogus 

San Francisco, CA 

To whom have you given a brochure? 
E-mail or write and let us know! If 
you need more brochures, contact Clare 
Imholtz at 

Last November, we cruised the 
Pacific shores between Panama 
and San Diego. At every stop we 
hunted for Lewis Carroll items, 
and without much trouble, found 
Spanish-language Alice books at 
shops selling to the locals (no 
tourist places). 

In Albrook Mall outside of 
Panama City, a very large and fas- 
cinating place, in two department 
stores we found two different Dis- 
ney coloring books, both printed 
in Colombia in 2009. 

A bookstore in Antigua, Gua- 
temala, produced a volume con- 
taining transladons of both Alices, 
The Snark, Phantasmagoria, and A 
Tangled Tale (without the answers). 
It was printed in Spain in 1999. 
In the little Mexican town of Ta- 
pachula, we discovered an Alice 
printed in Spain in 2006, one 

printed in Mexico in 2005, an Alice 
picture book (not Disney) printed 
in Spain in 2000, and a CD pro- 
duced in Mexico in 2002. In Aca- 
pulco, we located an Alice printed 
in Mexico in 2008. 

A bookstore in Zihuatanejo, 
Mexico, had an Alice printed in 
Mexico in 2006, and a volume con- 
taining Looking Glass and Snark, 
printed in Mexico in 2007. 
None of these were duplicates. 
Alice is alive and well along the 
North American Latin Pacific 
coast. /Viva - Alicia en el pais de las 

Mary and David Schaefer 

Silver Spring, AID 


I have just received my copy of 
the Knight Letter and, as usual, am 
delighted with it. 

One problem, however. In the 
article "Things," many items of in- 
terest are printed but the address 
of the vendor is not given. 

I do not have a computer, but 
even if I did, no e-mail address or 


other means of contact is given. 
Why do you not give out such 

David Barr 

London, U.K. 

Our apologies to David and to anyone 
else who was confused by our format 
change. If one turns to page 42 in our 
previous issue, there is a notice stat- 
ing that all web links (URLs) in the 
"From Our Far-Flung Correspondents " 
section have been moved to — where 
else"? — the web. The links are located at 
http:/ /www. delicious, com/lcsna, ivhere 
they can be sorted by issue and topic. 
To make things even easier, a topic link 
is now provided at the beginning of 
each Far-Flung section. We do attempt 
to include all forms of contact with the 
vendor, medium, performer, etc., for 
our non-computing readers, but this 
information is not always available. 

I teach English at the secondary 

I do not believe that Lewis Car- 
roll was into any drug use, but 
some of my students think he was 
and other teachers think so too! 
What is the truth regarding drug 
use and Lewis Carroll? This is a 
rumor that I would like to end. 
Please let me know of any sources 
that I could consult for the truth 
about whether or not Lewis Car- 
roll was involved in drugs of any 
kind. I thought he was a minister 
and a math Professor, and this was 
just a nonsense type of story that 
he made up to entertain his niece. 

I told one student that I will 
be researching to let her know. 
She said that there are a bunch of 
online sites that claim that he was 
a drug addict. 

Monie Rude-Scrivner 

Stockton, CA 

LCSNA President Andrew Sellon 

Lewis Carroll's works and life have led 
many people to jump to many conclu- 
sions about him, most of them unsub- 
stantiated and ill-considered. Why do 
people come up with stories like "he was 
on drugs " to explain his creativity ? 

Wfiy is it hard for some people to grasp 
the fact that he was brilliantly creative 
without artificial ingredients? The 
myths about Lewis Carroll probably say 
more about the people spreading them 
than they do about Rev. Dodgson (aka 
Lewis Carroll) himself. 

Have you taken afeiv moments to 
browse our xuebsite, and that of our 
sister society in the U.K. ? Our FAQs 
page addresses many questions, includ- 
ing who the real Alice was (she was 
not his niece), and the standard one 
about people claiming Carroll wrote 
his flights of fancy in a drug-induced 
haze. Of course there are websites claim- 
ing he used drugs. There are websites 
claiming that Elvis is still alive. It may 
make a juicy story, but it's without 
merit, and in the case of this particu- 
lar myth, it 's certainly more than a 
little disrespectful to Rev. Dodgson 's 
memory. It 's interesting that the peopk 
proposing such things never consider 
that aspect; chances are they 'd take 
offense if such a slur were casually 
directed at them. Close readings of his 
surviving diaries and all other cor- 
respondences and reminiscences are 
remarkably devoid of anything other 
than the occasional reference to use of 
a mild homeopathic treatment. Medi- 
cal issues come up frequently as well 
in the "unsubstantiated claims " area; 
there are epilepsy sites and migraine 
sites that state unequivocally that he 
suffered from those conditions, when in 
fact no incontrovertible evidence exists. 
And so on. It suits people to believe 
certain things about a famous figure 

because it fits their particular agenda, 
or because they are too lazy to do their 
homework. But the existing facts are 
consistent and clear in dismissing 
the myth of any recreational drug (or 
alcohol) abuse. 

In addition to our FAQs page, we 
have a section on our website with 
a wealth of topic-based resources for 
further, more in-depth study. You and 
your students might want to spend 
some time browsing our site, and the 
U.K. society's site as well. There are 
plenty of interesting facts, and lots of 
links to entertaining Carrolliana as 
well. We also have a blog on our site 
with regular new postings about Car- 
roll in popular culture. I think you 
and your students would find it time 
very well spent. Browsing our site may 
well answer some questions, and per- 
haps raise others. But then that 's part 
of the fun of doing research, as I'm 
sure you '11 agree. 

Have a look at our website, and 
let me know if you have any further 
specific questions after exploring the 
information we provide. We're always 
adding more, so it's worth the occa- 
sional return visit. 

Thanks for encouraging reliance on 
facts and research over casual gossip. 
All teachers should do the same. 

Several weeks ago I ordered La 
Guida di Bragia from the LCSNA. 
I am VERY pleased!!! I teach a 
college-level puppetry class and I 
hope to be able to produce snip- 
pets steampunk style (or semi- 
steam) for the local public library. 

Diane Lewis 

San Juan Capistrano, CA 


I love this society. I was a member 
years ago before we were online. 
The website and blog are wonderful. 

Carol Barrilleaux 

Concord, CA 


Thank you for keeping me up to 
date. Please don't ever take me off 
your [Yahoo email] list. 

Irene Zuckerbraun 

Preston, CT 





Ravings j:koo? The Waning Desk 





"'■■C ^^^any attendees pronounced our spring 
m \# % meeting at the Rosenbach Museum & 
M. ^.Library in Philadelphia one of our best. 

Many thanks to the staff of the Rosenbach, includ- 
ing Farrar Fitzgerald and Michelle Goodman, and a 
very special thanks to Librarian Elizabeth Fuller, who 
selected a superb sampling of choice Carrollian trea- 
sures from the Rosenbach 's impressive holdings to 
share with us up close. That rare treat was thoroughly 
enjoyed by all present. Another round of thanks to our 
roster of speakers, including Andy Malcolm, 
Nancy Wiley, and Maria Tatar, whose talks 
were individually and collectively wonderful. 
Thanks also to Stacey Swigart, who arranged 
free admission to the Please Touch Museum 
for LCSNA members that weekend, and to 
member Barbara Felicetd, who helped with 
local logistics. Well done, all! 

As some of you may know, I stepped 
down as Editor in Chief of the Knight Letter 
last fall to spearhead the creadon of a new 
website for the society, which we launched 
on March 5, 2010. If you haven't already 
seen it, I hope you will find an opportu- 
nity to browse the site soon. It represents 
months of effort. My thanks to the follow- 
ing for their assistance: for link-checking — 
Ekaterina Sukhanova, Ann Buki, George 
Cassady, Joe Desy, Ellie Luchinsky, Angelica 
Carpenter and Dora Mitchell; for technical work on 
the back end — -Jacob Strick, Matt Crandall, and web- 
master Ray Kiddy; for updated reference PDFs — Mark 
Burstein; for preparing the new version of our blog 
(now named the Far Flung Knight) — Rachel Eley and 
James Welsch; and for donating and/or preparing 
member artwork images — Andrew Ogus, Oleg Lip- 
chenko, Tatiana Ianovskaia, Dallas Piotrowski, Karen 
Mortillaro, Jonathan Dixon, Jett Jackson, and Mahen- 
dra Singh. And another round of thanks to Joel Bi- 
renbaum, who created and maintained our prior site 
for many years; we stand on his shoulders. 

My goal in creadng the new site was simple: to up- 
date the content and look of our original site (while 

retaining a "Victorian" sensibility), and blend it with 
our popular blog, so that our reference pages and 
our ephemeral posts can complement each other. My 
hope is that this will encourage visitors of all ages to 
explore more aspects of Lewis Carroll, and come back 
regularly for updates. We will of course continue to 
explore ways to enhance the site on a regular basis. 

On another topic, I will complete my second 
term as President this fall, so this is my last "Ravings." 
I would like to leave you with two statements: 

1 ) Thank you. The past four years have 
been a remarkable learning experience 
for me. I hope you feel that I have served 
the society well. I didn't start out four years 
ago with the thought of leaving any kind 
of legacy behind, but I do hope you have 
enjoyed the meetings and magazine under 
my tenure, and that you feel the new web- 
site represents a worthy contribudon to the 
society's future. 

2) Volunteer for the LCSNA. And fol- 
low through. Don't assume someone else 
will do it. Without member support, we 
might one day softly and suddenly vanish 
away. We always need help with tasks large 
and small, and the new website is just one 
example of how members can contribute 
from wherever they are, to make a real 
difference to the society and the public at 

large. I am not exaggerating when I say that we are 
at a remarkable and volatile point in human history. 
The ways people learn and communicate are chang- 
ing almost daily, and we need to run twice as fast just 
to stay in place. With your help, we can run three 
dmes as fast and help lead the way. Please think about 
what you can do, and contact us. I am confident that 
you will find volunteering for the LCSNA genuinely 
rewarding. And you will be contribudng to the endur- 
ing legacy of Lewis Carroll. 
Best regards, 



H. S 


"The chimneypiece [at Down, 
Charles Darwin's home] was just 
like that in the picture of Alice 
going through the Looking Glass. 
There was the same squiggly gold 
clock under a glass shade, and 
there were sweet-smelling cedar- 
wood spills in the vases." 
From Period Piece by Gwen 
Raverat, W. W. Norton and 
Company Inc., New York, 1952. 

"It was as though he had snapped 
his fingers and frozen them all to 
a tableau. He knew at once what 
it made him think of and as he 
went out through the front door 
he said it aloud, and began to 
laugh: 'You're nothing but a pack 
of cards!'" 

From "Pack of Cards, " the title story 
of the collection Pack of Cards by 
Penelope Lively, first published by 
William Heinemann Ltd., London, 
in 1 986. Published by Grove Press, 
Neiv York, 1989. 

"Roger finds a butterfly blenny. O 
frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" 
From Family Album by Penelope 
Lively, Viking, published by the 
Penguin Group, New York, 2009. 

"'Alice,' said Ruth, 'drinking from 
that bottle, and getting larger and 
larger. Her arm sticking out of the 
window. That's all about somehow 
defeating space. Of course. Thank 
you. I see a promising digression 

From Consequences by Penelope 
Lively, Viking New York, 2007. 


"He felt like paraphrasing Through 
the Looking Glass with a 'Police of- 
ficers don't make bargains.'" 

From The Babes in the Wood by 
Ruth Rendell, Croxvn Publishers, 
New York, 2002. 

"In the same class [of classical 
monsters] we have . . . the Grif- 
fins, part eagle and part lion (see 
Tenniel's illustrations of the Gry- 
phon in 'Alice in Wonderland'). 
The Griffins were first referred to, 
we are told, by Hesiod (in a lost 
passage); according to Herodotus 
they guarded the gold in Scythia." 
From The Oxford Companion 
to Classical Literature, compiled 
and edited by Sir Paul Harvey, 
Oxford University Press, Ely 
House, London. First published 
October 1937. 


"His body squirmed inside his 
respectable suit. 'It's not like Alice 
in Wonderland. That's a real other 
place. This is just wires and strings 
and disguises.'" 

From The Children's Book 
by A. S. Byatt, Alfred A. Knopf, 
a division of Random House, 
New York, 2009, and Chatto 
& Windus, the Random House 
Group, Ltd., London, 2009. 

"He had drowsy but watchful eyes 
and the Cheshire cat physique of a 
gourmet and oenophile." 
From No Way to Treat a First 
Lady by Christopher Buckley, 
Random House, New York, 2002. 


"Though Lear never mentioned 
Lewis Carroll in his letters or 
diaries it is possible that he read 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as 
soon as it appeared in 1865, and 
conceivable that Carroll's use of 
nonsense helped to inspire him to 
write more elaborate pieces than 
the limericks. More probably, how- 
ever, he worked independently of 

any such influence. (Lear's poem 
'The Cummerbund' though, does 
seem to be partly on the model of 
'Jabberwocky. ' ) " 

From The Oxford Companion 
to Children's Literature, 
Humphrey Carpenter and Mari 
Prichard, editors, Oxford University 
Press, Oxford, 1987. 

"... Venus is grazed by a rose 
thorn when trying to save Adonis 
from a thrashing by the jealous 
Mars. For this reason (according 
to the Hypnerotomachia) , white 
roses turned red on the anniver- 
sary of Adonis' death." 

From The Mirror of the Gods: 
How Renaissance Artists 
Rediscovered the Pagan Gods 
by Malcolm Bull, Oxford University 
Press, New York, 2005. 


"[T]he English, who are supposed 
to lack a proper sense of humor, 
have by far the cleverest group of 
[transformation playing cards] to 
be found in any country. . . An- 
other series of the first quarter of 
the century are etchings by I. L. 
Cowell. The court cards are full- 
length figures surrounded by a 
border of fluttering playing cards. 
John Tenniel must have remem- 
bered these when he did his il- 
lustrations for 
Lewis Carroll's 
Alice. One of 
these court 
cards is Puss in 
Boots, with an 
expression remi- 
niscent of the 
Cheshire Cat, 
and another is 
the ass of the 
Midsummer-Night's Dream." 

From A History of Playing Cards 
and a Bibliography of Cards 
and Gaming by Catharine Perry 
Hargrave, Dover Publications, 
New York, 2001 (reprint of 1930 


"Although best known for novels 
'Alice's Adventures in Wonder- 
land' and 'Through the Looking 
Glass,' he also invented croquet, 
billiards, various forms of chess, 
scrabble, ways to divide certain 
numbers, and two different forms 
of the Arabic zero." 

From the Siuann Auction House's 
description of a Carroll photograph 
of Emily Cecilia Harrison, for sale 
on December 5, 2009. 

Why does a listing on ABEBooks. 
com for an ordinary used copy of 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 
printed in Chicago in 1991, credit 
"Garnett, Constance — translator 
from the Russian"? 

"Both the Alice books have comic, 
speeded-up reversals of evolution 
when a baby changes into a pig 
and a duchess becomes a sheep." 
From Inventing Wonderland: 
Victorian Childhood as Seen 
Through the Lives and 
Fantasies of Lewis Carroll, 
Edward Lear, J. M. Barrie, 
Kenneth Grahame, and 
A. A. Milne by Jackie Wullschldger, 
The Free Press, a Division of Simon 
and Schuster, Inc., New York, 1995. 


"In another text by Lewis Carroll, 
moments before she is trans- 
formed into a goat, the White 
Queen says the following to Alice: 
'Now I'll give you something to 

From Essays in Christian 
Mythology: The Metamorphosis 
of Presterjohn by Manuel Jodo 
Ramos, University Press of America, 

"Don't be like the March Hare and 
be late for a very important date! 
Announcing the Pacific Suns 2010 
Best of Marin 'Alice in Marinland' 
edition publishing on March 26. 
In this special glossy-cover publica- 
tion, we will proudly present the 
results of our annual readers' poll 
and showcase this year's honorees 
enjoying the Mad Hatter's Tea 
Party and playing flamingo cro- 
quette [sic] on the lawn with Alice 
and her friends!" 

From a March 3 e-mail sent 
by Marin County, California 's 
Pacific Sun magazine. 


JM ^L 

Emily Aguilo 
Gerald Alexanderson 

Carol Barrilleaux 

Richard Connaughton 

Rachel Eley 

Luc Gauvreau 

Virgina Halmos 

Maureen Handley 

George Houle 

Mark Jarmon 

Sjig, W^ 


Diane Lewis 

Rachel Nead 

Tica Netherwood 

Keith Phillips 

Alex Poor 

Janessa Pyles 

Sharin' Schroeder 

Liz Springwater 

Sarah Stord 

Dennis Sullivan 

Robert Weiss 

James Welsch 

"Dear Lewis Carroll, 
Good day to you! My name is 
[name removed to protect the imbecilic], 
a consultant from BOOKWHIRL. 
com. I am very much interested to 
promote your book entitled 'Sense 
and Nonsense Stories.'" 

From an e-mail sent to the LCSNA's 


"The first known 'Alice in Wonder- 
land' film . . . was made in 1903, 
just 68 years after Lewis Carroll 
first published his fantasy 'Alice's 
Adventures in Wonderland.'" 
From the blog "Hero Complex " 
by Susan King, Los Angeles 
Times, February 5, 2010. Perhaps 
she's into advanced rabbithole 
mathematics, and the equation 
1903 -1865 = 68 works in base 1 7 
or something. 

"Dodgson rarely wrote amusing 
nonsense for children: his best 
humor was directed at adults." 

From "Algebra in Wonderland" by 

Melanie Bayley, The New 

York Times, March 6, 










r he sesquicentennial of the first publication 
of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Won- 
derland will occur in 2015, and that date is 
drawing ever nearer. This children's book, written by 
an Oxford don, has been affecting readers' lives since 
1865, and has been an inspiradon to artists of every 
ilk for nearly 150 years. The Lewis Carroll societies 
wish everyone to join them in the realization that Alice 
is one of the most significant books ever written. With 
this in mind, we have taken up the mantle of ensur- 
ing that this momentous occasion is celebrated with 
appreciadon and joy. 

There may be some argument as to whether or 
not Alice is the best book ever written. It may be im- 
possible to prove that Alice is the most quoted book af- 
ter the Bible and Shakespeare's plays. However, there 
can be no argument as to the great significance of this 
slim volume. Even people who have never read the 
book (yes, there are some) have been affected by it. 
If they thought about it, they would realize how often 
they have crossed paths with this literary icon. The 
impact that Alice has had on popular culture for 150 
years is extraordinary. It is literally a phenomenon. 
What other novel (for lack of a better term) has main- 
tained such a presence in our popular culture? This 
incontrovertible face has prompted us to begin plan- 
ning a major celebradon, Alicel50: Celebrating Wonder- 
land, five years before the fact. 

The Lewis Carroll sociedes feel that it is our duty 
to honor the sesquicentennial with a celebration that 
duly reflects Carroll's great accomplishment. The ex- 
hibitions and events will shine a light on the preva- 
lence of Alice in popular culture. An international 
conference is in the planning stage, and simultane- 
ous exhibitions at multiple venues within New York 
City will accompany it. We already have five major 
cosponsors providing these venues: New York Uni- 
versity, New York Institute of Technology, Columbia 

University, Sotheby's Aucdon House, and the Grolier 
Club. The exhibitions will allow the general public to 
truly grasp the scope of Alices impact on literature, 
art, film, theater, television, advertising, collectables, 
dolls, games, toys, textiles, education, ephemera, and 
other aspects of everyday life. This will be the Alice 
experience of a lifetime. 

There will be opportunities to help shape the fes- 
tivities and to be an integral part of them. You can be 
a part of Alice history. If you wish to volunteer to be a 
member of one of our subcommittees, please contact 
me, Joel Birenbaum, 
There is also a Facebook group, Alice 150: Celebrating 
Wonderland, which you may join should you wish to 
receive updates on the project. 

Exhibit of Alice Translations 
at the Grolier Club 


Included in the Alice 2015 festivities will be a two- 
month-long exhibition of Alice translations at the 
Grolier Club. It will follow the Warren Weaver ex- 
ample: to retranslate from the translations and dis- 
cuss how the various translators handled the difficult 
Carroll material. This information will be of much use 
and value to Carroll collectors and scholars, and even- 
tually will be turned into a catalogue. Help is needed 
to manage the process, specifically to identify "re- 
translators" and see the work through to completion. 
Please contact me with your 
ideas, your thoughts, and particularly your willingness 
to help as a retranslator (please specify language/s of 
interest) or manager. 


3n Jfflemoriam 




Martin Gardner 
October 21, 1914 - May 22, 2010 

Remembered by August A. hnholtz,Jr. 

With great sadness we note the passing of Martin Gardner on Saturday, May 22, 
2010, in Norman, Oklahoma, at the age of 95. Martin Gardner was not only a 
founding member of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, but also, it is 
surely safe to say, the founder of serious Carroll studies through the publication of 
his book The Annotated Alice. That work, which went through three editions ( The 
Annotated Alice, 1960; More Annotated Alice, 1990, and The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition, 2000) 
introduced countless numbers of people to Lewis Carroll's Alice, thereby bringing Carroll's works 
to the popular mind as never before. His Annotated Alice also set the standard, one seldom equaled, 
for a numerous succession of annotated works by other authors. In 1962, he published his Annotated 
Hunting of the Snark, reprinted in 2006 in an expanded, definitive edition with a brilliant introduction 
and appreciation by Adam Gopnik. Like Lewis Carroll, Martin Gardner had a deep enjoyment of seri- 
ous and recreational mathematics (he wrote the famous "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific 
American for 25 years with more than a few touching on Carroll), a love of language and paradox, and 
a profound interest in religion. Like Houdini, he was keen on magic tricks and equally intolerant of 
paranormalists and other charlatans. Martin was always willing to help those who corresponded with 
him and, although some of us never had the privilege of meeting him, we all knew him and counted 
him both a learned guide and an always generous friend. 

The Dream of the Dormouse 


Tranquil tea and truffles 

A star shouted, "Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle — " 

Tears trickled down into the treacle-treated well, 

Where three sisters tasted tranquil tea using 

two cups, for there were only places laid out 

for a dynamic duo in that deep ditch. 

"Pourquoi dois-je dormir tout le temps'?" ' 

I asked the butterfly. In return he posed his 

dilemma as such: I either sleep as 

a man and dream I'm a butterfly or dream 

I'm a butterfly but sleep as a man. 

Mousetraps, the moon, memory, and muchness. 
The duchess doubted the dreadful dreariness 
of days spent in delivery. Damned to be 
separated from her head. Alas, better that 
than to be quartered, I said. But four is more 
than two! Limbs separated from you! There is 
no less or more in that equation. Not elation. 


I then found occasion to delve deep. The earth 
swallows me like a jello-couch with no springs. 
There I see fantastic things. Bronze rings who 
sing songs of delight, of perilous flight. Escape 
into the night with glowing octopi. Creatures 
of the deep, no ordinary sheep as I lay down 
to sleep. I dream things not as they seem, 
of ideas transmitted through moonbeams. 

1 Why must I sleep all the time? 

Jane Manchon is a student at Vassar College. Her poem 
comes to us from Professor Nancy Willard. 



Lexvis Carroll's Alice's 

Adventures in Wonderland 

retold by Harriet Castor, 

illustrated by Zdenko Basic 

Carlton Books Limited, 2010, Barron's 

Educational Books Limited, Neiv York 

ISBN-13: 978-0-7641-6333-3, $18.99 

Stickfigurativelyspeaking: Alice 's 

Adventures in Wonderland 

retold and illustrated 

by Jamison Odone 

Publishing Works, Inc. Exeter, 

New Hampshire, $14.95 

Reviewed by Andrew Ogus 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and 
Through the Looking-Glass have ap- 
peared in many tongues and many 
guises; their infinite variety and 
endless inspiration are an inte- 
gral part of their charm. Carroll's 
Nursery Alice was 
probably the 
first adaptation 
for a younger 
audience, and 
undoubtedly led 
new readers to 
the books. But 
should we laud 
any product on 
the grounds that 
it might bring 
new readers 
to the delights 
of Wonder- 
land? Has any adapter ever really 
improved the text? If the first 
encounter is with an adaptation, 
whether it be a film, a play, or a 
book, would it cause complaint 
that Carroll's version is somehow 
wrong? Here are two new "intro- 
ductions" to the classic text, each 
attempting to distinguish itself. 

A book or a badly designed toy? 
Whichever, Harriet Castor's adap- 
tation makes hay of Wonderland. 
The sticky lifts, twee lists that re- 
quire familiarity with the full text 
to make any sense, indiscernible 
pulls, and uninspired pop-ups in 
the jumbled layout are presum- 
ably the justification for the deadly 
rewriting. The demands of the 

paper engineering force the clut- 
tered photo-collage illustrations to 
be sandwiched out of context — so 
much so that Alice in the White 
Rabbit's House is the main fea- 
ture of a spread describing the 
Caucus Race. Some (such as the 
Caterpillar's advice) is simply baf- 
fling. A wire-haired, big-footed, 
and big-headed Alice, with her 
Keane-like eyes, is both the first 
and final blow to what might have 

invisible mouths of the characters, 
but, as usual, modern interfer- 
ence makes the music of the text 
go flat, failing both sense and 
sound. A forced reference to Mr. 
Dodgson's photography is simply 
irritating. Such arch alterations 
and additions seem more designed 
for sophisticated adult readers 
who can catch the differences 
between this and the original text 
than young readers who might be 
encountering Wonderland for the 
first time. Those familiar with the 
text but with less traditional tastes 
than this reader may enjoy Mr. 
Odone's liberties as well as rejoic- 
ing in his simple but articulate 

Alice in the Hall of Doors, from Stickfiguratively Speaking's version of AAIW . 

been attractive pictures in a more 
controlled context; perhaps this is 
simply a waste of a talented illus- 
trator? Other characters, glaring 
out from the page, seem inap- 
propriately aware of the reader's 
gaze. For the completist only; as 
an "introduction to Wonderland," 
a disaster. 

Stickfigurativelyspeaking: Alice 's 
Adventures in Wonderland is the first 
in a series of classics illustrated 
in a simplified "stick figure" style, 
which has an odd charm and often 
very imaginative compositions. At 
first reading, this seems to be an 
amusing combination of graphic 
novel and straight text, with con- 
versations placed directly into the 


James Welsch 

On March 15, 
2010, your Far- 
Flung bloggers, 
alias @AliceAm- 
erica, conducted 
their first LCSNA 
interview using 
Twitter, the popu- 
lar worldwide 
service for sending 
1 40-character-long 
messages. A text 
message interview 
seemed oddly ap- 
propriate for stick- 
figure artist Jamison Odone. All 
capitialization, spelling, and gram- 
matical errors have been retained 
to reflect the spirit of the medium. 

@AliceAmerica: We're about 
to have a Twitter conversation 
with ©JamisonOdone, creator of 
Stickfiguratively Speaking. #Alicein 
Wonderland #LeivisCarroll 

(Sjamisonodone: ahoy! 

A: Hello ©JamisonOdone This is 
the Lexvis Carroll Society of North 
America's first ever interview con- 
ducted in 140 characters. 

J: This is The Jamison Odone 
Society's first 140 character 
interview ever as well! Glad to 
take part :) 



J: HI! I'm Jamison odone. author 
and illustrator of children's 
books, raconteur and all 
around funny guy. Redsox fan, 
new dad . . . 

A: // looks a bit to us like your 
Caterpillar resembtes your own 
drawings of yourself. Is he a deliber- 
ate self-portrait? 

J: Yes he is. No reason exactly 
why I did that. Perhaps his glib 
wisdom is just something that I 
aspire to. 

A: How old were you when you 
first found Alice's Adventures in 
Wonderland, and xvhat brought 
you to it as an adult ? 

J: Not exactly sure quite how 
old I first was.. it's always been 
around. As an adult, on the 
development of this series-it 

J: Also, Jeremy at ©publishing- 
works was hot on the idea 
of this story to kick off my 
Stickfiguratively Speaking 

A: Did you hcwe Sir John Tenniel or 
any other illustrators ' art in the 
back of your brain while you were 

J: Always! Tenniel is a hero of 
mine! It was difficult for me 
to draw so simply when all I 
wanted to do was copy his per- 

A: You chose to release your book the 
same day as the Tim Burton's Alice 
in Wonderland opening. Did the 
huge shadow help or hurt ? 

J: The date was chosen by @pub- 
lishingworks and it only helped. 
There was no shadow for me 
really-I'm an island without 

A: And whereas Burton's visions are 
dense, detailed, and 3D, yours 
are simple pen drawings on white 
paper, ID. 

A: Hoiv do you resist the temptation to 
fill in all that negative space? 

J: Well I really like the artistic 
notion of deconstruction. We 
are always trying to make things 

J: Simplify Simplify 

A: Thoreau it away! There's a moral 
in that. Our interviewing moral 
has always been that it 's done by 
minding your own business. 

J: It is kind of tough to do. I kept 
telling myself that the next 
book I will illustrate will look 
like the sistine chapel! 

A: Lewis Carroll himself had simple 
(even childish) drawings for his 
original Alice's Adventure's Under 

J: I know-I've seen a scanned ver- 
sion of the entire book online. 
I wish I could hold it... but no 
luck with that I suppose. 

A: My friend suggested that your 
drawings might inspire children 
that they could illustrate stories 

J: I do lots of school visits with my 
books. I have been speaking 
to kids about that exact notion 
lately. Your friend is smart. 

A: You & Mr Carroll have totally 
different senses of humor, side by 
side in the same book. Any favorite 
Carrollian shticks? 

J: Tough one . . . my real admira- 
tion for Carroll is how created 
such a brilliant world with 
so many different layers and 

A: AND what the world demands 
to know: Do you intend a 
Stickfiguratively Speaking 
Through the Looking-Glass ? 

J: If people like this book then 
I'd think about Looking Glass. If 
people dislike what I've done, I 
would not want to go further. 

A: Your public might demand it! 

Thank you Mr Odone for charming 
conversation! Best of luck xvith the 
book, xvith fatherhood, &c. 

J: Thanks! Look out for Iparty's 
Classes in Wonderland-featur- 
ing lil' ol me 

J: It was a true pleasure inter- 
viewing with you. I have a true 
respect for Carroll and for 
literary groups that keep it all 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 

by Lexois Carroll 

illustrations by 

Camille Rose Garcia 

Collins Design, an Imprint of 

HarperCollins Publishers 

ISBN 978-0-06-18865 7- 7, $1 6. 99 

Rexnexved by Andrexu Ogus 

Here is an energetically punk Alice 
with a limited but lurid, electri- 
cally charged palette and emaci- 
ated, sophisticated figures. Alice's 
enormous bleeding eyelashes give 
her a vulnerable air, and help 
distinguish her from the other 
heavily stylized characters. Ragged 
right text allows for spot illustra- 
tions to break up the pages; Alice's 
neck gloriously snakes and bursts 
through an entire spread to be 
confronted by the pigeon. The 
delicate marginal drawings on the 
left pages are a charming offset 
to the chapter tides on the right. 
Unfortunately the minuscule type 
is not offset by its generous lead- 
ing. A magnifying glass is recom- 
mended if a more legible text is 
not available. 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 

illustrated by Robert Ingpen 

New York: Sterling Publishing 

Company, 2009. 191 p. $19.95 

ISBN 978-1-4027-6835-4 

Rexnexved by August A. Irnholtz, Jr. 

The two figures racing across 
the front dust wrapper of Rob- 
ert Ingpen's Alice's Adventures in 
Wonderland make us want to open 
this book immediately and follow 
them in. We see the head of the 
ever-so-slightly pug-nosed Alice 
with her flowing blonde strands 
of hair moving just a bit ahead 
of the White Rabbit, who is look- 
ing with open-mouthed horror at 
his pocket watch, just below and 
behind Alice's elbow. On opening 
the book one finds, to one's great 
delight, decorated endpapers (a 
rarity these days) with a montage 
of scenes from the book, all in an 
ochre tint a little reminiscent of 


the endpapers in Oleg Lipchen- 
ko's brilliant but very different 
Alice. The White Rabbit on the 
cover appears a bit older than 
one remembers him, although 
that may be an example of the 
Tenniel effect, to which we shall 
return shordy. He is somewhat 
gray, and clad in a red jacket with 
red cuffs, a yellow waistcoat, and a 
white bow tie with carrot-colored 
spots. And the fact that we see only 
Alice's head and arms, the right 
one clenched in a runner's fist, 
is a further enticement, as if one 
were needed, to open the book, 
look over the pictorial endpapers, 
and — passing quickly over the 
preliminaries — move on to the 
book itself. 

And what a book it is: 29 
double-page illustrations, at the 
beginning of each chapter and 
scattered elsewhere; 34 full-page 
illustrations; and 47 smaller insert 
illustrations, if I have counted 
correctly. The illustrations are 
either in full color or in muted 
tones, soft with a lot of yellow 
and brown — perhaps the colors 
of dreams, or if not that, at least 
removed from the sharp black- 
and-white realism (if that word 
can be considered appropriate) of 
Tenniel's masterful drawings. That 
Tenniel exerts directly or indi- 
rectly an effect, an influence on 
subsequent illustrators and their 
audience is both an advantage 
and a disadvantage in that it estab- 
lishes an inevitable series of visual 
references. Ingpen pays homage 
to Tenniel in his afterword, say- 
ing, "my pictorial collection of 
Alice through her dream under- 
ground for these modern times, is 
dedicated in awe to John Tenniel, 
whose skill and imagination made 
his work shine out at a time when 
black and white engravings from 
drawings was the only practical 
means for the illustrator." 

It would be an interesting task 
for someone more knowledgeable 
than this reviewer to compare the 
Tenniel and the Ingpen represen- 
tations, illustration by illustration. 

And yet, despite what Ingpen 
states about his high regard for 
Tenniel, it is interesting to note 
that his shrunken Alice (p. 70) is 
a modified and improved, as well 
as colored, version of Carroll's 
own illustradon of Alice collapsed 
into only a head and feet (p. 61 
of Alice's Adventures under Ground) , 
much like some medieval illustra- 
don of a fantasdc creature from a 
distant and fabulous land. Ingpen 's 
illustration of Alice with the fla- 
mingo (p. 116) recalls Carroll's 
own depicdon of this scene (p. 
76). In another example, Carroll 
has Alice standing before a closed 
door (p. 67 of Under Ground), while 
Ingpen has her holding the door 
ajar and about to step dirough it 
(p. 105). There are many other 
similarities between Carroll's origi- 
nal drawings and Ingpen 's delight- 
ful interpretations. 

In this edition, the animals 
seem closer to Alice than in many 
other illustrated Alices, and I don't 
refer here only to the dust wrap- 
per illustradon (also on p. 114 of 
the text) , where they are physically 
very close, neck and neck. The 
Cheshire Cat, for example, looks 
more like a real cat — see the al- 
most grayed-out but not vanished 
illustradon of the Cheshire Cat 
mimicking Alice's pose on 
p. 45 — and that does much to cre- 
ate a sense of reality in what is an 
otherwise irreal world. 

Ingpen 's Alice is also more of 
an outdoor Alice than one finds in 
many earlier editions. She is less 
angular and austere than in Tenn- 
iel, but also has not been annealed 
into a cuddliness that contradicts 
the tone of the text. I don't know 
whether Ingpen 's granddaughter, 
to whom he dedicates the book, 
is a city girl or country girl, but 
a country vision pervades the 
book's illustrations. Whether they 
represent Australian or Wonder- 
land country, I don't know, but I 
suspect a creative fusion of the two 
to create perhaps one of the most 
outdoorsy Alices ever, and it works. 
As for the Tenniel puppy (on p. 55 

of the original edidon), which may 
be a Wheaten Terrier rather than 
a Scotty (according to our knowl- 
edgeable friend Alison Tannen- 
baum), Ingpen has represented 
that tiny pup — though huge in the 
eyes of the even dnier Alice — as a 
sort of St. Bernard or maybe Eng- 
lish Setter. Furthermore, Ingpen's 
Caterpillar, in a gesture toward 
what used to be called Oriental- 
ism, sports a fez. One wonders how 
many other fezified mushroom- 
sitting caterpillars there have been 
in the history of Alice illustrations. 
Even if it is not original, I think it 
is a touch that fits. Finally we find 
in this book scenes or passages 
illustrated that have rarely, if ever, 
been attempted: see, for example, 
the delightful porpoise, whiting, 
and snail on p. 143 in full, though 
muted, underwater tones, or the 
Owl and the pie (p. 150). 

There are a couple of points on 
which I differ with Ingpen's usu- 
ally brilliantly appropriate repre- 
sentations. I am not at all sure I 
agree with a peon-friendly Duch- 
ess and Royal Hearts pair. These 
mellowed Royals make for a less 
threatening Wonderland, which 
is surely one of Ingpen's aims, 
even though he thereby might be 
charged with mollifying the text 
message a bit too much. Also, and 
this may be more the fault of the 
book designer than the artist, the 
layout of the Mouse's tail/tale is 
very poor: If one did not know it 
was a tail, one would scarcely be 
able to recognize it as such. 

We have in our personal collec- 
tion a great number of Alices 
illustrated by a variety of artists 
over the past several decades. 
Many of them, such as Barry 
Moser, Oleg Lipchenko, Lisbeth 
Zwerger, and Arthur Rackham, 
were known to us from their other 
works as well — yet, in spite of the 
fact that Robert Ingpen has illus- 
trated, often to critical acclaim, 
over a hundred works, including 
The Wind in the Willows and Peter 
Pan and Wendy, I somehow had 
never happened upon them. Now 


I regret that, for his vision is very 
much worth one's attention. 

In summary, this is indeed a 
beautifully illustrated and artfully 
produced edition of Alice, in the 
layout of the pages, the quality of 
the prindng, and the deftness of its 
illustradons. It is a book for a child 
or grandchild first, but also for 
grownups open to new interpreta- 
dons. Finally, the brief essay by 
Russell Ash, with illustrations, on 
the original Under Ground manu- 
script helps to put Wonderland 
into its historical literary context. 
One hopes that the highly talented 
Robert Ingpen will soon illustrate 
Through the Looking-Glass and then 
turn his considerable skills to some 
of Carroll's other works. 

The Mystery of Lewis Carroll: 

Discovering the Whimsical, 

Thoughtful, and Sometimes 

Lonely Man Who Created 

"Alice in Wonderland" 

Jenny Woolf 

St. Martin's Press, 2010, 

ISBN 978-0-312-61298-6 

Reviewed by Andrew Sellon 

The fact that Edward Wakeling 
agreed to write the foreword for 
Jenny Woolf's new biography of 
Charles Dodgson (hereinafter 
referred to as Lewis Carroll, per 
Woolf's book) piqued my inter- 
est, and his brief essay might well 
also serve as an efficient review 
of the book. To her credit, Woolf 
states in her introduction that she 
is after the facts, and promises a 
minimum of speculation. For the 
most part, she succeeds in holding 
to her stated mission. Woolf also 
rightly acknowledges the efforts 
of the many other recent biogra- 
phers, including Morton Cohen 
and Karoline Leach, praising their 
efforts to take a fresh look at the 
man behind the myths, while not- 
ing that she may not agree with all 
of their conclusions. I agree with 
Wakeling that Woolf has penned 
a worthy new biography, even 
though, like him, I do not agree 
with all of Woolf s conclusions. 

After all, anything approaching a 
"complete" biography in the ab- 
sence of entire volumes of the dia- 
ries, as well as the letter register, 
is impossible. But there is still real 
value in periodically reexamining 
what we know, particularly when 
new factual information does sur- 
face that may alter the overall pic- 
ture, as was the case when Woolf 
unearthed Carroll's check register 
a few years ago. 

As expected, given her prior 
publication, Lexuis Carroll In His 
Own Account, Woolf's chapter 
about Carroll's handling (or 
mishandling) of finances is both 
engrossing and illuminating. We 
are all in her debt (as it were) for 
pursuing her hunch about the pos- 
sible existence of the register, and 
she does not exaggerate the im- 
portance of unearthing such a rich 
resource, free of well-intentioned 
family tampering. It's fascinating 
that a man so brilliant with num- 
bers could be "in the red" over so 
much of his life. Woolf provides 
much-needed context here regard- 
ing some mitigating factors, such 
as the odd payment schedules of 
both Christ Church and Macmil- 
lan, and Carroll's endless stream 
of charitable donations. And in cit- 
ing Carroll's contributions to the 
financially challenged Dymes fam- 
ily (characters seemingly straight 
out of Dickens) , Woolf proposes 
the interesting idea that perhaps 
in some way he was attempting 
to fabricate a surrogate family for 
himself (since his own was by then 
all grown up) but ultimately found 
that the Dymes family didn't meet 
his needs. It's an idea worth fur- 
ther exploradon. 

Other than her analysis of Car- 
roll's finances, the most intrigu- 
ing theory that Woolf presents is 
a slight variation on an existing 
theory about the cause of the 
separation between Carroll and 
the Liddells. It has been proposed 
by some that the separation might 
have been due to Carroll's propos- 
ing a match with Alice (probably 
unlikely, for practical and social 

status reasons, even if he wanted 
it) , or more likely that he agreed 
with Dean and Mrs. Liddell that 
gossip around his spending time 
with the nearly marriageable 
Ina and decidedly available Miss 
Pricket! needed to be scotched by 
a little distance. Woolf cites the 
cryptic notes Ina wrote to Alice in 
their last years, among other de- 
tails, and suggests that perhaps the 
teenage Ina had formed a school- 
girl crush on the charming Car- 
roll. He might not have noticed 
the crush as such, and Mrs. Liddell 
would have wanted to halt it as 
quickly as possible. While we have 
no incontrovertible evidence one 
way or the other, it's a reasonable 
reassessment of the known facts. 
At the same time, Woolf goes 
to some lengths to convince the 
reader that Alice herself meant 
less to Carroll than many people 
believe. I was not persuaded 
on this point. She picks up on 
Cohen's noting of the distinction 
between the real and fictional 
Alices, but seems to present this 
as revelatory. To my mind, it's a 
given that the fictional character 
possesses some traits of the real 
girl and some of an ideal dream- 
child. For one thing, while Car- 
roll couldn't resist including a 
photo of Alice on the last page of 
his original manuscript for Under 
Ground, out of respect for the real 
child's privacy (not to mention his 
love of pre-Raphaelite art) he him- 
self drew Alice as long-haired, and 
would never have allowed Tenniel 
to depict the real Alice Liddell in 
the published version. Woolf also 
cites his dedication to Alice in the 
1886 Under Ground facsimile edi- 
tion he sent her: "To her whose 
namesake one happy summer 
day, inspired his story: from the 
Author" and says that his use of 
"namesake" here proves they were 
entirely different beings. My inter- 
pretation is that by "namesake" he 
was referring to child Alice, since 
he was writing at that point to 
adult Alice. And if the real child- 
muse Alice was that unimportant 


to Carroll, why the elegant, elegiac 
acrostic poem of her name in 
Looking-Glass (which Woolf terms 
"slightly chilling"), written some 
years later? As in so many aspects 
of Carroll's life, there remains 
room for healthy and respectful 

Woolf gives a careful and 
thoughtful rebuttal to the myth of 
Carroll as a pedophile, and cites 
Menella Dodgson's pained letter 
to biographer Florence Becker 
Lennon, foreseeing regrettable 
misinterpretation as a result of 
Lennon's biography of Carroll. I 
agree with Woolf (and her recent 
predecessors) about the over- 
looked importance of Carroll's 
relationships with adult women. 
Yet of course, saying he didn 't have 
a fixation on little girls on some 
level would be disingenuous. As 
Woolf notes, however, the point is 
that his focus may have been the 
reverse of what gossip assumes. I 
have always thought that he ag- 
gressively sought out the company 
of ostensibly harmless little girls 
not just as an escape from his 
work, but in an attempt to spare 
himself the potential social, finan- 
cial, and emotional challenges and 
compromises that the company 
of marriageable women would 
have represented. E. Gertrude 
Thomson has famously noted the 
harsh light in which at least one 
society matron viewed Thomson's 
own friendship with Carroll. Woolf 
is very much in this camp, and 
suggests that Carroll's mistake of 
kissing 1 7-year-old Atty Owen and 
the resulting falling out with her 
parents was a major factor in his 
abandoning photography when 
he did, which is a reasonable 
theory. For all of his jokes about 
"Mrs. Grundy" and his professions 
about disregarding the opinion of 
others, anyone who has read his 
letters and diaries knows that the 
social implications of being con- 
fronted with the wrath of a Mrs. 
Owen would have had a powerful 
effect on him. 

In a couple of instances, Woolf 
makes distinctly British references 
in her book that may not translate 
well to readers in the rest of the 
world. In her final chapter, she 
states, "In short, the opposing 
forces in his nature dictated how 
he lived his life, and ran through 
him like the letters in a piece of 
seaside rock." Wakeling kindly pro- 
vided an explanation, which would 
make a good endnote: "At seaside 
places, it is possible to buy a sticky 
candy that is made in a tube so 
that the letters of the resort are 
shown running through the item. 
As you bite it, the name re-ap- 
pears. It's called 'rock.'" While we 
have rock candy here in the U.S., 
clearly the version available in Brit- 
ain is more literate! 

There is obviously more to 
discuss than any one review can 
address. You may agree or disagree 
with some of Woolfs statements, 
such as that Carroll "seems never 
to have got over his jealous emo- 
tional confusion about mothers" 
and that "his [diary] entry makes 
it clear that he felt his own preach- 
ing was a mockery and a blas- 
phemy, because he had failed to 
'rule himself physically and done 
something that transgressed the 
Commandments of God." What- 
ever your own conclusions, Woolfs 
discussion of the facts is consis- 
tently interesting. 

A few other minor cavils: While 
there is certainly a logic to divid- 
ing a biography into topic-based 
chapters (as Cohen and others 
have done), I think any biogra- 
pher who does so should also 
supply a chronology of key dates 
for both Carroll's life and writings. 
Regrettably, neither is supplied 
here, and any newcomer picking 
up this book as an introduction 
to Carroll's life would likely feel 
more than a little unmoored as a 
result. Also, the first page of each 
chapter provides the chapter num- 
ber and name; thereafter the page 
headings cite the chapter name 
only, yet anyone exploring the 
endnotes would find that only the 

chapter number \s supplied there. 
More than once, when seeking a 
note, I had to go back to the first 
page of the chapter to be re- 
minded which chapter number to 
seek at the end. There are also a 
surprising number of typos in the 
book. Even the original press re- 
lease announcing the book's pub- 
lication got the book's title wrong 
in one paragraph. I will also note 
that in one case, Woolfs word 
choice is unfortunate. In chapter 
five, discussing the many myths 
clouding the study of Carroll's 
life, Woolf writes that "Nobody has 
(yet) written a serious book accus- 
ing him of being homosexual or a 
closet transvestite." While thank- 
fully this is true, I will take issue 
with the use of "accusing." While 
in Carroll's time it would indeed 
have come as an accusation, in our 
own it should not. 

Many of these minor shortcom- 
ings can be easily addressed in the 
second edition, making a strong 
book that much better. All in all, 
with the caveats noted above, this 
volume represents a very good 
"state of the nation" with regard 
to current critical thought about 
Carroll, and is a solid book to rec- 
ommend to someone new to the 
study of his life and works. It also 
holds some rewards for those with 
a few other Carroll biographies 
already under their belts. 

Alice I Have Been 

Melanie Benjamin 

Delacorte Press, 2010, 

ISBN 978-0-385-34413-5 

Reviewed by Clare Imholtz 

This is a very clever novel, a veri- 
table tour de force. I read it with 
my heart in my mouth, worried 
about how Dodgson would come 
out in the end, but the ending did 
not disappoint or cheat. Nor, for 
the most part, did the characters. 
Alice Liddell, our narrator, now 
an aged woman, is finally, near the 
end of her life, able to reflect on 
her relationship with Dodgson; 
with his book (not hers), Alice's 


Adventures in Wonderland; and on 
the impact the two had on her. I 
found Alice believable, and was 
moved by Benjamin's portrayal of 
her as an old woman finding the 
courage to reassess her life. 

Thinking about the Dodgson- 
Liddell history from Alice's point 
of view was new territory for me. 
For example, I had never con- 
sidered the fact of Dodgson and 
Alice's continuing proximity at 
Christ Church after their friend- 
ship ended and before her mar- 
riage. Most Carrollians are familiar 
with Dodgson's complaints about 
"Mrs. Grundy." This book shows us 
the true weight, figuratively — and 
literally, when a woman's dress 
might weigh twenty or thirty 
pounds — of society's constant 
gaze. No wonder Alice was all too 
ready to become Mrs. Hargreaves. 

I'm not familiar enough with 
the biographical and historical de- 
tails about Dodgson and Oxford to 
know how true to fact the book is, 
but it passed muster with me. After 
all, this is a work of fiction, and 
must be read as such. Benjamin 
notes, in the back of the book, the 
known facts that the work is based 
upon. It is helpful to know what 
the author thinks is fact and what 
she acknowledges is imagined. 
Certainly there is much invented 
material, such as letters between 
Alice and Dodgson. Alice's sister 
Lorina and her mother are set up 
as Alice's antagonists, and John 
Ruskin is utilized, in an unforget- 
tably vitriolic portrayal, to destroy 
Alice's chance at happiness with 
Prince Leopold. Charles Dodgson, 
shown here as doddering (even 
in middle age) and ineffectual, is 
the only character I took strong 
objection to. All in all, I found this 
book brilliantly and intelligently 


Illustrated Children 's Books 

Duncan McCorquodale, Sophie 

Hallam, and Libby Waite, eds. 

Black Dog Publishing, London 

ISBN 978-1-906155-81-0, £25, $40 

Reviewed by Mark Burstein 

This extraordinary, if badly flawed, 
volume carries no credited author, 
but lists three editors, none of 
whom apparently felt the need 
for a copyeditor or fact checker — 
hence marring an otherwise beau- 
tiful celebration of the picture 
book with an occasionally stupefy- 
ingly inaccurate text. In just a few 
pages, for example, they inform us 
that Alice's Adventures "was essen- 
tially a book for girls"; that Sylvie 
and Bruno is "similar in style to the 
Alice titles"; that Dodgson met the 
"ten-year-old Alice Liddell, daugh- 
ter of the Dean of Christchurch" 
(Alice was three when they met, 
and Christchurch is a city in New 
Zealand; Oxford's college is Christ 
Church); that Tenniel "had objec- 
tions over the print quality of the 
first two thousand editions" (gee, 
I wonder how many volumes were 
printed in each of those editions); 
that a drawing from Alice's Adven- 
tures Underground (should be 
" under Ground") was "a facsimile 
of the 1886 original" (the original 
was completed in 1864); that the 
sequel was called " Through the Look- 
ing Glass, the narrative of which 
is often thought to have been a 
part of the original tide" (even 
forgiving the infelicitous grammar, 
exacdy who thinks that?); and that 
there has been "a television series" 
(more like a dozen) based on the 
books. I need not go on. 

Introductory essays are fol- 
lowed by chapters, within which 
individual authors are profiled. 
These are organized by means of 
some algorithm known only to the 
editors: though mostly alphabeti- 
cal by author's name, some entries 
appear under the titles of the 
author's best-known work (Carroll 
under "A," for example). There is 
no index. 

I can't really fault them for 
highlighting British illustrators, 
nor for emphasizing the current 
"cutting-edge" newcomers, al- 
though who knows which of that 
crop will be viewed in a hundred 
years? Regrettably, this means that 
only a minority of the illustrators 
will be familiar to American eyes. 

The volume itself is quite hand- 
some. The illustrations are very 
well reproduced and nicely laid 
out, but perhaps that's the (unin- 
tended) point. I applaud the in- 
tention, if not always the results. 

Random Magic: Being the 

Accidental Adventures of Winnie 

Flapjack (. . . and Henry) 

Sasha Soren 

Beach Books, 20099, ISBN: 


Reviewed by Sandra Lee Parker 

"Once you vanished, " Winnie said, cut- 
ting to the chase, "the book went blank. 
There's no Alice to have adventures, 
and so there 's no book. " 

Alice is missing — accidentally 
"sneezed right out of the book" 
when Professor Random breathed 
in too much pepper while visiting 
the Duchess. Following the logic of 
chaos theory, she must be put back 
into the story before the tale van- 
ishes, the book disappears, "some- 
thing stupendous happens" — and 
quite possibly the world ends! A 
chance encounter with young 
Henry Witherspoon presents the 
fretting Professor Random with 
a swift solution: send Henry into 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 
to find the missing miss. Henry, 
humoring the absenuninded 
professor, receives a sprinkling 
of fairy-dust and jumps into the 
text that Random has readied for 
him — only it is the wrong book! 
Henry realizes too late that he has 
jumped into The REALLY Big Book 
of Myths and Legends. 

Nevertheless, Henry sets off 
through Edgeland to find Baba 


Yaga, the powerful witch who 
might — if he is very, very lucky — 
help him locate Alice and settle her 
happily back home in Wonderland. 

Winnie, a "doodle witch," and 
Henry travel through forty-odd 
chapters in search of our blue- 
eyed blondie (yes, blue dress, 
white pinafore, "upper-crusty 
accent" — that version of Alice), 
surviving (most of the time) one 
death-defying adventure after 

Together they fight their way 
through Edgeland, encounter 
vampires, ride centaurs, meet the 
Muses, cross creepy woodlands, 
play a deadly game of chess, climb 
mountains, storm castles, solve 
riddles, outwit witches, and cheat 
death, among the other usual 
sort of quest-y setups. Winnie is 
often too cheeky, too sassy, and 
sometimes even downright crude. 
We admire her moxie, but no one 
likes someone who is right all the 
time. Henry, on the other hand, 
lurks in the background for most 
of the story, and seems almost 
superfluous, but finally proves to 
have more nuance (and personal- 
ity) than initially suspected. 

For the most part, the adven- 
tures are quite entertaining. 
Sasha Soren is at her best when 
retelling a tale, and her takes on 
mythology's greatest hits are fresh 
and funny. Winnie cunningly 
outsmarts Charon with a game of 
doublets (the invention of which graciously at- 
tributes to Lewis Carroll). Soren's 
Muses are quirky and sparkling 
and display their attributes most 
charmingly. Her telling of the 
story of Hansel and Gretel rivals 
Roald DahVs Revolting Rhymes. Her 
dialogue is so sharp, fast, and 
funny that one has to be quick to 
pick up all of Soren's references — 
her book is crammed with so many 
characters, places, and events that 
it would take several readings to 
unearth them all. 

Soren is a crafty wordsmith 
who can turn a good phrase. Her 
writing is snappy and clever, with 

shades of Wodehouse and Dahl, 
but often she just plum tries too 
hard. Her humor sometimes ap- 
pears overworked, and occasion- 
ally, passages that are quite funny 
become downright tiresome be- 
cause Soren lets the joke go on too 
long. For example, the sequence 
on the pirate ship begins as a jolly 
romp under a jolly roger, but by 
the time the reader is introduced 
to every he- and she-pirate, and 
learns their cute names and traits, 
he or she is turning the pages 
not to learn their subsequent fate 
but to see how much is left of the 

The chapter headings can be- 
come especially annoying, with 
their parenthetical digressions 
and many asides to the reader 
(All Stated In Initial Caps). Most 
disappointing is the heading for 
chapter 42, which promises "An 
Anagrammatic Tribute To An 
Author Who Is No Longer With 
Us," but alas, proves not to be our 
own beloved L. C. but the other 
number 42 guy. 

Soren appears too eager to dis- 
play her superior wit, and risks 
alienating her readers in the pro- 
cess. She occasionally goes out of 
her way to explain a joke to an 
audience who surely is not smarter- 
than-the-average-fifth-grader and 
dius needs the "get it? get it?" clarifi- 
cation. More often she overstuffs 
her writing with oblique references 
to a myriad of topics, from physics 
(Schrodinger's cat) and art (surreal- 
ism, melting clocks) to history 
(ergot poisoning, witch hunts, 
Hypatia's martyrdom) and litera- 
ture ("Shakes" for Shakespeare, 
"Dot" for Dorothy Parker) , which 
left this reader — when she did pick 
up on the references — wondering 
what she had missed. It is a book 
purposefully ripe for annotation, 
and a visit to ex- 
poses this desire to Make Everything 
Perfecdy Clear by including such 
helpful notes as, "Only 2000 copies 
of the first edition of Alices Adven- 
tures in Wonderland 'were printed, 
then discarded as waste paper." 

Unfortunately, Alice is but a 
minor character in this tale. She 
appears briefly in the beginning 
and again at the end of the book, 
framing the adventures of Winnie 
and Henry (but also partaking in 
them, specifically as Queen Alice 
in Chapter 43). Other Wonderland 
and Looking-Glass characters and 
references are sprinkled through- 
out the book (a disappearing cat, 
the "Rabbite," "Twinkle Twinkle 
Litde Star," a chess game with 
a strident Red Queen), but this 
most certainly is not an Alice book. 
So unessential to the tale is Alice 
that Soren could just as easily 
have substituted Little Red Riding 
Hood or even Nancy Drew and 
told the story just as successfully. 
Even so, Carrollian characters and 
references could remain in the 
book without seeming out of place 
or any more superfluous than the 
other myriad characters and refer- 
ences Soren packs into Random 
Magic. Soren does give Alice a 
fresh voice, which is sometimes 
amusing (particularly as Queen 
Alice), but also can be annoying, 
since she is not quite the Alice 
we have come to know and love. 
Nonetheless, she is so briefly pre- 
sented that such liberties prove 
minor in the ultimate enjoyment 
of this quirky, feisty escapade. 
Random Magic is a sometimes chal- 
lenging but generally entertaining 
read: only marginally Alician, but 
very much Carrollian in spirit. 


Miyuki-Chan in Wonderland 


DVD: ADV Films, 2002 

English-edition book: TokyoPop, 

2003, ISBN: 978-1591823032 

Reviewed by Mark Burstein 

Although they are a few years old 
by now, I only recently read the 
book and watched the DVD of 
Miyuki-Chan in Wonderland. Some- 
what disturbing, these can only be 
fully comprehended by an otaku 
(obsessive fan) immersed in the 
mindset and culture of twenty-first- 


century Japan, but I will here at- 
tempt to decipher some of it. 

Miyuki started life as a Fushigi 
no Kuni no Miyuki-chan, a yuri series 
created by clamp, an all-female 
mangaka (cartoonist) group. Yuri 
(literally, "lily") refers to a genre 
of "girl love" manga (comics) and 
anime (animation) that focuses on 
the erode, romantic, or emotional 
attachment of women to each 
other. The group, which started 
life as an eleven-member fan club/ 
d-jinshi (self-publisher of books) 
in the mid-1980s, has evolved 
spectacularly, and the four remain- 
ing members are now superstars, 
numbering sales of their tank-bon 
(self-contained, as opposed to seri- 
alized, books) in the millions. 

Fushigi first appeared in the Jap- 
anese edition of the anime/manga 
magazine Neivtype from 1993 to 
1995. In 1995, an image album (CD 
of songs) and an OVA (Original 
Video Animation) of the first two 
stories were released. Although 
Miyuki had seven adventures in 
all {Miyuki in: I. Wonderland, II. 
Looking-Glass (or Mirror) Land, III. 
TV-Land, IV. Part-Time Job Land, 
etc.), only the first two concern 
Carrollians, and it was these that 
were animated. 

The English-language ver- 
sion of the manga, published in 
book form by Tokyopop in 2003, 
contains the seven canonical 
stories (in black-and-white, and 
read from right to left, in the 
traditional manga manner) with 
three omake (bonus extras): a 
chibi (a style in which the render- 
ing of the characters is playfully 
deformed so as to resemble large- 
headed children) story in which 
the origin and meaning of the 
comic are discussed, and two "of- 
ficial art" color sections wherein 
the Wonderland characters, gen- 
erally depicted as scantily clad, 
busty adult females, are described 
and portrayed. This is quite help- 
ful, as their onscreen incarnations 
usually last but a few seconds, and 
many of the characters (Doorway 
Girl, the Flower Girls) exist only 
in the anime version. 

Miyuki is described as an in- 
nocent "high-school girl," who 
has never had a boyfriend. She 
has the requisite gargantuan blue 
eyes, blonde hair, and a school- 
girl "Alice" dress, and her body 
is rendered in the first stories as 
that of a thin, fifteen-ish, gawky 
adolescent, but by the time of her 
later adventures, she has filled out 
into a more rounded, often linge- 
rie-clad, young lady of eighteen 
or thereabouts. In the first story, 
after being led into a hole by a 
Playboy bunny on a skateboard, 
she pretty much spends the series 
rebuffing the advances of eroti- 
cally costumed, voluptuous women 
(believe me, you have never seen a 
more arousing Humpty Dumpty). 
This is actually made worse on the 
primitively animated DVD (ADV 
Films, 2002) by her relentless 
screaming and the unwelcome 
presence of a bad-seventies-porn, 
incessantly repeated soundtrack 
that sounds like a loud, particu- 
larly awful rendition of Quincy 
Jones's "Soul Bossa Nova" (the 
Austin Powers theme). Some of 
these can be seen online. 

The series might be seen as a 
"gateway drug" into the world of 
hentai (erotic manga and anime). 
Although Miyuki never actually 
submits to the amorous offers of 
the lascivious Cheshire Cat et al., 
and the series never crosses the 
lolicon (child-love) border, it does 
reek of hebephilia (attraction to 
adolescents), and can, to Western 
eyes, get a bit creepy. 

Curiouser and curiouser. 


Alice Eats Wonderland: An Irreverent 

Cookbook Adventure in Which a 

Gluttonous Alice Devours Many 

of the Wonderland Characters 

August A. Imholtz,Jr. 

and Alison Tannenbaum, 

illustrated by A. E. K. Carr 

Applewood Books, 2009, ISBN: 

978-1429091060, $14.95 

Reviewed by Rachel Eley 

There is rare honesty in a cook- 
book that opens with the following 
disclaimer: "Readers are cautioned 
that some of the recipes contained 
herein are not intended to be 
prepared and/or consumed by hu- 
mans or other living vertebrates." 
However, Alice Eats Wonderlands 
an odd cookbook in a number of 

For one thing, a number of the 
suggested ingredients are either 
endangered or extinct. (Good 
luck finding dormouse at Whole 
Foods.) For another, I have reason 
to suspect that authors Imholtz 
and Tannenbaum are not even 
professional chefs. The curiosities 
continue: the index is indepen- 
dently entertaining; who could 
remember what they wanted for 
dinner when browsing past such 
references as "brain, yours, on 
mushrooms," "crabs, personality," 
"hogs, see Wall Street," or "turtles, 
pass DNA test"? 

Perhaps strangest of all, for an 
annotated cookbook, is the ratio 
of annotations to recipes. Follow- 
ing a familiar twelve-chapter for- 
mat, the book reproduces extracts 
from Wonderland, lovingly aug- 
mented to reveal a hungrier Alice 
whose inner monologue primarily 
ponders the potential tastiness of 
her encounters. To assist her, and 
other curious folk, each chapter 
then provides an in-depth consid- 
eration of the culinary qualities of 
most of Wonderland's inhabitants, 
incorporating an abundance of 
historical fact, anecdote, specula- 
tion, and literary reference, liber- 
ally seasoned with images, tables, 


and original illustrations by A. E. 
K. Cam 

Amongst this wealth of fascinat- 
ing and occasionally disgusting 
detail (please don't ask me how to 
gut a caterpillar) are a fair number 
of actual recipes, some enticing 
(Scrambled Rose Omelet) , some 
less so (Fried Silkworm Pupae and 
Onions). This whole endeavor is 
then referenced, appended, and 
glossed far beyond strict necessity, 
gleefully betraying the true ani- 
mus of the book: not a desire to 
help you with menu planning, but 
rather a dilettantic exuberance for 
footnotes and tangents, for facts 
about flamingos, and currants, 
and lizards, and above all, for the 
strange histories of things people 
call food. 

This smorgasbord results in an 
informal and extremely eccentric 
layout. This is not The Gourmet 
Cookbook, and the cut-and-paste 
style may have some impatient 
chefs pitching the pepper. How- 
ever, for any true bookworm or 
other bibliophage, the sheer 
variety and flavor of the contents 
more than make up for the less- 
than-glossy production standards. 
And what is more, it is not all Pig's 
Face and Cabbage — unfazed by the 
disclaimer, I boldly prepared and 
consumed the Victorian Currant 
Cakes (p. 15): they were delicious. 

Alice in Zombieland: Lewis 

Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in 

Wonderland ' with Undead Madness 

Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook 

Coscom Entertainment, 2009, 

ISBN: 978-1926712291 

Reviewed by Hayley Rushing 

In April of 2009, a curious phe- 
nomenon appeared on book- 
shelves across America: the "zom- 
bie classic," the addition of the 
undead and/or supernatural into 
classic literature — quite literally 
"addition." Pride and Prejudice and 
Zombies, the seminal work of this 
new genre, is advertised as being 
85% of Austen's original text, with 
zombies and kung fu incorporated 

into that other 15%. Shortly after 
P&P&Z appeared Sense and Sen- 
sibility and Sea Monsters, then later 
Mansfield Park and Mummies. Spe- 
cifically in terms of zombies, even 
works such as The Wonderful Wizard 
ofOz, Robin Hood, War of the Worlds, 
A Christmas Carol, and Huckleberry 
Finn have not escaped the brain- 
eating undead (and this is to say 
nothing of vampire-, werewolf-, 
demon-, and android-studded clas- 
sics). With so much of the literary 
canon now free game to these 
authors of zombie reinvendon, it 
was only a matter of dme before a 
zombified Alice joined the sham- 
bling ranks. 

Unfortunately, because this 
fad has become so popular so 
quickly, these works have ap- 
peared overnight. Literally dozens 
of them have shambled forth, all 
since April 2009. They are being 
churned out right and left, but 
that haste to publish results in 
sloppy product. For the most part, 
this example is an equivalent of 
literary cut-and-paste, frequently 
just substituting "dead" for "mad" 
(but a few are missed). Every- 
thing is mosdy unchanged (the 
poems in pardcular go completely 
unchanged). This leaves the in- 
formed reader constantly hoping 
to catch a mistake, and that be- 
comes part of the fun of reading 
Alice in Zombieland. For example, 
the Hatter snacks on a dismem- 
bered hand during the trial, but 
as he exits he's eating the original 
bread-and-butter. And why are 
the Footman's eyes near the top 
of his head if he's not a frog, but 
a human corpse (who's just de- 
voured the queen's messenger as 

Sadly, it's apparent that Nicko- 
las Cook can't rhyme; "The Queen 
of Hearts, she made some meat pies" 
just doesn't work, though there 
was such good opportunity for 
Carrollian rhyming. Since the play- 
ing-cards motif is basically lost in 
the book, why not change her to 
a Queen of Flies or Queen of Lies 
making meat pies? When a change 

to the text does fit, it's a pleasant 
surprise. Alice's slowly developing 
hunger for brains is oddly fitting 
with the eadng/drinking already 
in Wonderland (Alice has, after 
all, "a great interest in questions 
of eating and drinking"). But the 
subde death jokes of the original 
text are made absurd by the overt 
morbidity of this zombification. 
The subde darkness of a comment 
about not saying a word after fall- 
ing off the top of a house is lost 
when Alice is bleeding profusely 
from a head wound sustained 
from tripping over a headstone. 

For the most part, it's an in- 
complete marriage, this embellish- 
ment of a classic with the undead. 
To make sense of the world (but 
why should anything make sense 
in Wonderland?), after the Dor- 
mouse's tale of Elsie, Lacie, and 
Tillie, we get the zombie backstory 
of the Queen. But, if the overall 
plot is really about the Queen of 
Hearts enslaving the land for her 
zombie army, why bother with 
the literary mad-libs? Only the 
changed 15% connects with this 
new plot; the other 85% is just 
incongruous. Like most of the 
"zombie classic" genre, it's little 
more than an interesting idea. It's 
full of touches of cleverness — like 
the nod to Poe when the Caterpil- 
lar is changed to "the Conqueror 
Wurm," immediately followed by 
an encounter with a Raven (the 
new serpent-fearing Pigeon) — but 
the popularity of the literary fad 
has made the editing sloppy. The 
prize of the interesdng idea isn't 
worth the task of slogging through 
the mess; its value is its place in 
the literary fad. 

SyFy Channel's Mice 
Reviewed by Andrew Sellon 
Here's the groovy setup: In a pres- 
ent-day city, a self-possessed, beau- 
tiful martial arts instructor named 
Alice (the straightforward and ap- 
pealing Caterina Scorsone) loves 
a handsome British fellow named 
Jack (an effectively oblique Philip 


Winchester). But as her mother 
(the excellent Teryl Rothery, 
formerly of Stargate SG-1) notes 
ruefully, Alice is afraid of commit- 
ment. When Jack makes a sudden 
proposal with a very peculiar-look- 
ing ring, Alice sends him packing. 
But as soon as Jack is outside, he 
is kidnapped by a man known 
as the White Rabbit and pulled 
through a giant looking-glass that 
just happens to be in the alley 
beside Alice's building. Alice, hav- 
ing gone after Jack, pursues the 
kidnappers and tumbles through 
the mirror into — well, you know. 
Only, of course, this isn't Lewis 
Carroll's Wonderland. It isn't even 
your mother's. It's creator Nick 
Willing's not-so-brave new world, 
a creepy sci-fi reflection of our 
own, with darkly humorous gonzo 
touches. Willing had success with 
Tin Man, his revisionist miniseries 
inspired by The Wizard of Oz a cou- 
ple of years ago, so I'm sure the 
Alice books seemed a logical next 
target for him. 

As you would expect from a 
SyFy production, this Wonderland 
is mostly computer-generated, 
and some of the depictions of this 
alternate world are good visual 
fun, if not necessarily Carrollian. 
Some of Willing's story ideas are 
fun, too. We learn that the Queen 
of Hearts (the reliable Kathy 
Bates) has her thugs (appropri- 
ately, the "suits") kidnap human 
beings (dubbed "oysters") from 
our world and pull them through 
the looking-glass to live out their 
days as mindless customers in a 
glossy casino. There they are heav- 
ily sedated and do nothing but 
win, egged on by a bevy of gor- 
geous and glazed hostesses seem- 
ingly culled from an old Robert 
Plant video. Why? The evil queen 
is siphoning off the poor oysters' 
euphoric dopamine-driven emo- 
tions and selling them for high 

prices to her addicted subjects. 
Hatter (a very fine Andrew-Lee 
Potts, from the British sci-fi series 
Primeval) is a cheeky (and hand- 
some) young dealer running a 
"tea house," a sort of shady stock 
exchange for the latest tantalizing 
emotions. While the idea of steal- 
ing or trading in human emotions 
isn't exactly new in science fiction, 
the presentation here has its own 
tacky specificity that works nicely. 
Other ideas feel fresh and playful, 
too. Willing's Duchess is a reversal 
of Carroll's: a stunning, manipula- 
tive blonde super-vixen engaged 
to the Queen's son. While she's 
a minor character, her arc works 
well because it surprises and 
reveals complexity. And the fla- 
mingo air scooters are a hoot. 

Other ideas do not feel fresh 
and do not work as well. As with 
the disappointing Tim Burton 
Alice film, the basic plot boils 
down to "Queen in red bad, Alice 
overthrows queen, little people 
rejoice." Is that really all Hol- 
lywood can manage in terms of 
plot? And while most of the SyFy 
performances are very good in- 
deed, Matt Frewer is a disappoint- 
ment in the pivotal role of the 
White Knight, delivering the same 
cartoonish acting that marred his 
work in the first season of SyFy's 
Eureka. Willing must take a good 
portion of the blame here, as a 
single quiet moment in the script 
reveals that the actor is capable 
of lovely work. Kathy Bates and 
Colm Meany do solid work as the 
Queen and King (though her ac- 
cent falters at a couple of points), 
but a few intimations of a complex 
and interesting relationship here 
are not sufficiently developed. 
Tim Curry mysteriously receives 
star billing as the Dodo, but ap- 
pears in only one brief scene to 
start a subplot that is then all but 
abandoned. Either his work ended 
up on the cutting room floor, or 
he and his agent didn't care that 
his billing far overreached his 
contribution. There's another 
subplot about Alice's missing fa- 

ther that feels more perfunctory 
than satisfying. And sometimes, 
even the logic of illogic can't ex- 
plain Willing's choices. The White 
Knight sets up a bunch of inert 
skeletons to try to convince the 
Queen he has an army to fight her. 
The Queen sees the truth through 
binoculars, and yet focuses all 
her attention on defending her 
fortress from this clearly harmless 
army. Is this nonsense intentional 
or unintentional? Alas, the logic is 
inconsistent, so it feels sadly like 
the latter. All we know is that Will- 
ing needed a distraction so that 
Alice could save the day elsewhere 
in the castle. And why is the air- 
ship that carries oysters called a 
scarab instead of a bat or tea tray? 

Both this SyFy miniseries and 
the Burton feature film evidence 
a genuinely talented artist's desire 
to create a new vision of a Carrol- 
lian world, and imitation is the 
sincerest form of flattery. But both 
Willing and Burton seem to have 
fallen too much in love with the 
technical wizardry of the visuals, 
at the expense of telling a consis- 
tently fresh and compelling story. 
Hollywood continues to live by the 
misguided notion that if you give 
audiences enough eye candy, they 
won't be bothered by gaping flaws 
in the script. This oyster wasn't 
fooled, and I don't think you will 
be, either. Still, I enjoyed the SyFy 
miniseries more than Burton's 
film, with its painfully obvious and 
sentimental plotting, and highly 
questionable message of "female 
empowerment" through violence. 
I could live without another Bur- 
ton riff on Carroll, but I wouldn't 
mind a SyFy sequel with most of 
the same actors, if Willing would 
live up to his name, and be more 
willing to follow through on his 
fresh ideas next time. 


Alice Beyond Wonderland: Essays 

for the Twenty-first Century 
Cristopher Hollingsworth, ed., 

foreword by Karoline Leach 

University of Iowa Press, 2009, 

ISBN: 978-1587298196 

Reviewed by Hayley Rushing 

The essays included in Alice beyond 
Wonderland span from Wonder- 
land as Dantesqne Underworld to 
special mathematics, with a third 
of the essays on photography in 
some form. The book is broken up 
into the categories of Literature, 
Image, and Culture. In particular, 
one essay on Chinese imagery in 
Dodgson's photography is surpris- 
ing, but insightful. Under the 
heading of Culture, the essays by 
Witchard and Pilinovsky, respec- 
tively, continue Karoline Leach's 
battle of biography and sexualiza- 
don, begun in her book In the 
Shadow of the Dreamchild. 

Also under Culture is Sean 
Somers's brilliant essay, "Arisu in 
Harajuku: Yagawa Sumiko's Won- 
derland as Translation, Theory, 
and Performance," which is the 
real gem of the collection. The 
essay examines the idea oifush- 
igi — the "wonder" in Wonderland, 
though the translation comes 

closer to "mystery" than "won- 
der" — and the stories of Arisu as 
the seminal work of the Gosu-Rori, 
also known as the Gothic-Lolita, 
neo-Victorian subculture. With the 
formation of its own Lewis Carroll 
Society in 1994, Japan is indeed 
part of the twentieth-century Alice, 
and there will likely be more study 
in the future of Aim's influence 
on Japanese culture, or, in the case 
of the Gosu-Rori, the formation of 
subcultures to create a safe space 
for the marginalized youth within 
a high-pressure society. Sean 
Somers's essay is just the begin- 
ning of what Alice and Arisu means 
to Japan, and the scholarship, as 
seen in this collection, shows us 
the beginning of the beginning of 
modern Alice studies. 

Karoline Leach's "edgy" fore- 
word, as the dust jackets claims 
it to be, is a quick recapitulation 
of her career as a Carrollian 
scholar: debunking the "Carroll 
Myth" — that is, the image of "Car- 
roll" as the quaint and prudish but 
child-loving deviant that decades 
of poor biographical scholarship 
and journalism has created. De- 
spite the fact that neither Carroll 
nor Dodgson has much to do with 
any of these essays, it's her focus 
even now. She makes bold and 
broad statements about Carrollian 

scholarship, frequendy to its dis- 
credit. Leach's name is supposed 
to give authority and credibility to 
the book, but the foreword itself 
is simply a rehashing of her own 
book, going to great lengths to 
argue against the quality of other 
Dodgson biographies, despite such 
an argument's lack of relevance to 
this volume. This foreword would 
be appropriate if this book were a 
book of essays on Carroll biogra- 
phy, but it's not. Leach's foreword 
is an advertisement for her own 
book, which she twice mendons in 
her four-page foreword to say that 
she explains herself further there. 
This foreword is a disservice to the 
essayists, but to her credit, Leach 
is at least accessible and readable. 
In contrast, the introduction writ- 
ten by Hollingsworth, the editor, 
is not. 

Alice beyond Wonderland has a 
well-deserved place in modern 
scholarship, but the inclusion of 
biographical, perhaps even polem- 
ical material dealing entirely with 
Carroll and Dodgson themselves, 
rather than the supposed subject 
of the anthology, Alice's Adventures 
in Wonderland, does somewhat 
dilute the value of an otherwise 
excellent study. 

Lio MarkTatutti 


4 8 


A new edition of TTLG, illustrated 
by Australian ardst Gavin L. 
O'Keefe, was released in Feb- 
ruary by Ramble House. 
O'Keefe has already il- 
lustrated AA/Wand Snark. 
His gendy surreal black-and- 
white illustradons can be 
purchased online in the form 
of greedngs cards. 

A new edition of AAIWis available 
from IDW Publishing with illustra- 
tions by Jenny Frison and cover-art 
by Eisner-award-winning artist Jill 

Simply Read Books has re-released 
the AA/W illustrated by Iassen 
Ghiuselev, with its large incredible 
macro-illustration broken down 
into the individual pictures. The 
release date for his beautiful new 
TTLG is not yet set, but a 201 1 
calender of the art will be out in 
July 2010. 

Susan Sanford, a multimedia artist 
in Oakland, CA, has published a 
book of her art called Dreaming 
Alice, inspired by scenes from both 
Alice books. There is also a 2010 
calender. She celebrated mad 
March by posdng images on her 

Less than twenty miles from Dis- 
ney Studios, Gallery Nucleus in 
Alhambra, CA, held an exhibidon 
of new artwork entitled "Curiouser 
and Curiouser: Inspired by 'Alice 
in Wonderland'" from February 27 
to March 29. There were pieces 
from a long list of contributing art- 
ists, including stills and maquettes 
from the Burton film. 

"Down the Rabbit Hole," a juried 
art exhibition in Bakersfield, CA, 
featured work by LCSNA member 
Tadana Ianovskaia. Her paindng 
"Court" received an honorable 
mention, one of only three awards 
dispensed. The exhibit, run by the 
Arts Council of Kern at the 
Younger Gallery, ran from January 
29 thru March 25. "Outside in 

SO i 

6 o^fHwfeotuienls 

John Tenniel, Arthur Rackham, 
Peter Newell, Jessie Willcox Smith, 
and Barry Moser ran at the Bran- 
dywine River Museum, Chadds 
Ford, PA, from November 27, 
2009, through January 10, 

Wonderland" by artists with devel- 
opmental disabilities was also on 

Every year since Carroll's centen- 
nial in 1998, French ardst Guy 
Jacqumin has asked other "Artistes 
Aliceens" to collaborate on an exhi- 
bition around an Alice-related 
theme. Alice chez Albert et Lucie, the 
thirteenth "Alice Sdll Alive" exhi- 
bition, ran from December 12 
through January 3 at the Centre 
d'arts plasdques Albert Chanot. 

"Alice in Pictureland: Illustrations 
of Lewis Carroll's Classic Tales," an 
exhibition featuring work by Sir 

One of Salvador Dali's stat- 
ues of Alice spent the winter 
8,700 feet up a mountain in 
the French ski resort of Cour- 
chevel. The thirteen-foot tall 
bronze statue was maneuvered into 
place by helicopter. 

California-based artist Leonard 
Filgate, one of the creators of the 
Rip Squeek children's book series, 
has a new painting called "Mad 
Hatter Card Party" (acrylic on 
canvas, and also available for sale 
as giclee prints or greedng cards) . 

San Diego artist Ramona 
Szczerba has several Steampunk- 
style collages inspired by AALW, 
which she has been selling at her store. 

Oregon ardst Kenneth Rougeau 
has combined familiar images, 
vintage photographs, and frag- 
ments of old masters into rich 
digital collages illustrating AALW 
and TTLG. They are available for 
view and for purchase online. 

In Steven Kenny's oil paindng 
Lewis Carroll as the White Rabbit, 
Carroll maintains his familiar 
downcast gaze, but his giant rabbit 
headdress looks you straight in the 
eye. The painting is currently on 
display in the Glass Garage Gal- 
lery, West Hollywood. 

Prior to motion pictures, Victori- 
ans would gather to see their fa- 
vorite stories brought to life by 
the projection of magic lantern 
slides. Beautiful slides illustradng 
AALW have been made available 
online through the website of the 
University of Exeter's Digital Col- 
lections, where you can browse 
over 2,000 images of Victorian life 
and culture. 



In a talk entitled "Hugh MacColl 
and Charles Dodgson on Axioms 
and Non-Euclidean Geometry," 
LCSNA member Dr. Francine 
Abeles discussed Dodgson 's parallel 
axiom, a closed form equivalent of 
Euclid's parallel postulate, about 
which MacColl and Dodgson com- 
municated indirecdy. A discussion 
of Dodgson's axiom has not ap- 
peared in the literature before. 
The talk was given at the University 
of California, Riverside, on Novem- 
ber 7, 2009. 

"Discrete Monodromy, Penta- 
grams, and the Method of Con- 
densation," by Richard Evan 
Schwarts, is available online 
through Cornell University Li- 
brary. The paper, originally sub- 
mitted on September 9, 2007, 
considers the pentagram map, 
along with Dodgson's method of 
condensation for computing de- 

"Starting with the numbers 1, 2, 7, 
42, 429, 7436, what is the next 
term in the sequence?" Writing for 
the general scientific audience, 
Andrew N. W. Hone explains how 
the problem goes back to Dodg- 
son's work on determinants in 
"Dodgson condensation, alternat- 
ing signs and square ice," origi- 
nally published in The Philosophical 
Transactions of the Royal Society 364, 
no. 1849 (2006), now available as a 
PDF online. 

Parallels between the Red Queen's 
race and the economic downturn 
were the subject of an article by 
Charles Hugh Smith for the Daily 
Finance website on February 20, 
2010. In "Alice in Debtorland," 
Smith graphed the relationship 
between declining asset values and 
excessive borrowing under the title 
"Losing the Red Queen's Race." 

Two calls for papers from The 
William Morris Society may be of 
interest to Carrollians. The first is 
for the conference "Useful & 

Beautiful: The Transadantic Arts 
of William Morris and the Pre- 
Raphaelites," at the Univesity of 
Delaware, October 7 to 9, 2010, 
exploring transatlantic exchanges 
between the Pre-Raphaelite, Arts 
and Crafts, and Aesthetic move- 
ments. The second is for the 
"Pre-Raphaelite Use of History," 
a session examining aspects of 
Victorian historicism, part of the 
2011 Modern Language Associa- 
tion Annual Convention, Los An- 
geles, January 5 to 9, 2011. 

Oxford doctoral candidate in litera- 
ture Melanie Bayley studies the 
relationship between mathematics 
and literature in Victorian Britain. 
Her version of the argument that 
the Alice books primarily satirize 
"new math," appeared in two re- 
cent articles: "Alice's Adventures in 
Algebra" in The New Scientist, Issue 
2739 (December 2009) and "Alge- 
bra in Wonderland" in The New York 
Times, March 6, 2010. NPR's Week- 
end Edition picked up the story on 
March 13, interviewing Stanford 
professor Keith Devlin, who re- 
peated the argument that the Mad 
T-(for Time)-Party was nothing but 
a send-up of William Rowan Hamil- 
ton's quaternions. 

Twelve years after he first reviewed 
the publication of the "suppressed 
episode," journalist Nick Hogarth 
"evenhandedly" reexamined the 
debate in Book and Magazine Collector 
(U.K.), Issue 314, December 2009. 

The Children s Books History Society 
Newsletter, no. 94 (August 2009) con- 
tained the article "Carroll Tempta- 
tions: Notes on 'a diverse swatch of 
books'" by David Blamires. The 
article compared selected Alice 
illustrators and praised Selwyn 
Goodacre's All the Snarks. 

Laura Mechling, the author of the 
Dream Girls novel series, wrote an 
essay called "Go Ask Alice, Again: 
In an Ever Changing World, Won- 
derland Never Ceases" for the Wall 
Street Journal b\og "Speakeasy." 
(The title now appears to have 
been changed to "Before Syfy's 

'Alice,' Visions of Wonderland.") 
She draws on her experience as an 
author who deals with girls grow- 
ing up: "Alice is stuck dealing with 
a body that is betraying her every 
step of the way." 

There are several rare Carroll 
books in the New York Public 
Library's Berg Collection, but did 
you know there are also a few in 
the Arents Tobacco Collection? In 
two wood-paneled rooms on the 
third floor are the 15,000 books as- 
sembled by George Arents of the 
American Tobacco Company be- 
cause of references to tobacco. 
"That curious thing, standing in 
front of the Caterpillar, is called a 
'hookah': and it's used for smok- 
ing," as it says in the 1890 Nursery 
Alice, of which the Arents Tobacco 
Collection owns the inscribed copy 
Carroll presented to Mary Brown. 

In conjunction with the new biog- 
raphy The Mystery ofLeivis Carroll, 
Jenny Woolf published an article 
in the April 2010 edition of the 
Smithsonian called "Lewis Carroll's 
Shifting Reputation: Why has 
popular opinion of the author of 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 
undergone such a drastic rever- 
sal?" Sort of a sequel to the biogra- 
phy, it chronicles the mystery of 
Carroll's image in the world since 
his death. 

The Pacific Sun is the alternative 
paper in Marin County, California. 
Their "Best of Marin 2010" awards 
in their March 26 issue was fully 
Alice-themed this year. 

LCSNA's 2008 publication of Dr. 
Elizabeth Sewell's scholarly study, 
Lewis Carroll: Voices from France, was 
reviewed in the Times Literary Sup- 
plement of May 7, 2010. 


Not for the first time, AA/Whas 
been translated into a language ar- 
tificially constructed in the twenti- 
eth century. now offers 
the text translated into Lojban, 
free and downloadable in several 


formats. (There's a rumor that 
it will eventually be published by 
Evertype.) "Lojban: a realization 
of Logban" (as the language is 
officially known), started in 1987, 
is based on predicate logic. "Will 
you, won't you, will you, won't 
you, will you join the dance?" was 
translated to "i aipei naipei aipei 
naipei aipei do ba dansu." Very 
musical for a language created by 
logicians! Klingon and Volapiik 
translators have their work cut out 
for them. 

Sylvie and Bruno is now available in 
Bulgarian. The new translation by 
Rosa Grigorova was published by 
Delacorte in 2009 (ISBN 978- 

The first (abridged) Indonesian 
translation of AATW (ISBN 978- 
9791411714), published in No- 
vember 2009, is reportedly selling 
well. Currently the book is only 
available through Atria Publish- 
ing's website. 

In November, subscribers to Dover 
Publication's teaching resources 
were sent a selection of download- 
able extracts from Alice coloring 
books and illustrated editions, 
including pages from a recent 
paperback edition of AATW as illus- 
trated by Willy Pogany in 1929 
(Dover, 2009, ISBN 978- 

In Alice in Wonderland and Philoso- 
phy: Curiouser and Curiouser, aca- 
demics consider goings-on in Won- 
derland from the perspective of 
different philosophical schools. 
The book is part of the Blackwell 
Philosophy and Pop Culture Series 
(ed. William Irwin, Wiley, 2010, 
ISBN 978-0470558362). 

A Reader on Reading (Yale University 
Press, ISBN 9784)300159820, 
$27.50) is a book of essays about 
reading by Alberto Manguel (author 
of Into the Looking-Glass Wood.) Each 
essay uses a Carroll quote to launch 
into its topic. 

A descendant of the Liddell fam- 
ily, author C. M. Rubin collabo- 
rated with her daughter Gabriella 
Rubin to prod vice The Real Alice in 
Wonderland (AuthorHouse, ISBN 
978-1449081317, $29.95). Itjuxta- 
poses historical and contemporary 
voices (from Tatiana Ianovskaia to 
Jewel) with illustrations and pho- 
tographs to tell the story of the 
real Alice Liddell and her con- 
tinuing inspiration. 

Disney has released several movie- 
related books this year: Alice In 
Wonderland: A Visual Companion by 
Mark Salisbury (Disney Editions, 
ISBN 978-1423128878, $50); Alice 
in Wonderland: A Visual Guide, 
marketed for children 4 to 8 (DK 
Publishing, ISBN 978-0756659820, 
$16.99), reviewed on page 12; and 
a novelization called Disney: Alice 
in Wonderland by T T Sutherland 
(Disney Press, ISBN 978- 
1423128861, $16.99). No word yet 
if anyone has purchased the movie 
rights for the last-named. 

At last, a solution to the pain and 
trauma of reading books in bed! 
Revolutionary publisher Bed Books 
offers Alice in Wonderland [sic] 
reprinted in patent-pending side- 
ways text layout. Available only 
from the Bed Books website. 

Harlan Ellison (that's right, the 
man who won the San Francisco 
Chronicle's award in 1984 for Most 
Attractive Male Writer) was nomi- 
nated in 2009 for the Grammy for 
Best Spoken Word Album for Chil- 
dren for his recording of TTLG 
(Blackstone AudioBooks, ISBN 
978-1433287527). The award went 
to Buck Howdy for Aaaaah! Spooky, 
Scary Stories & Songs. 

On November 16, 2010, a first 
edition of TTLG, purported to 
have belonged to Alice Liddell, was 
sold at auction for $1 15,000. The 
Profiles in History auction house 
catalog featured many other rare 
Carroll items, all from the collec- 
tion of ex-NFL star Pat Mclnally. 

With the intention to supply the 
universe with more Wonderland/ 

Looking-Glass poesy, J. D. Holden 
has written Alice in Verse: The Lost 
Rhymes of Wonderland, with illustra- 
tor Andrew Johnson (ISBN: 978- 
0982508992, $14.99). As you 
might expect from a book of Car- 
roll-inspired verse, it is full of 
rhyme and wit: "A little bite, per- 
haps it might / Reverse - to some 
degree / The ill-effect, and redi- 
rect / Up to the mocking key." 

Congratulations to LCSNA mem- 
ber Oleg Lipchenko for winning 
the 2009 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver 
Award ("outstanding artistic talent 
in a Canadian picture book") for 
his illustrations of AATW \ 

Watch out in the graphic novel 
Calamity Jack, by Shannon and 
Dean Hale, for appearances by the 
Jabberwock and Bandersnatch. 
They guard the giant's stronghold 
in this Wild West retelling of Jack 
and the Beanstalk (ISBN: 978- 

Just like Lewis Carroll with his first 
children's book, Jenny Woolf had 
modest hopes only to break even 
with her publication of Carroll's 
newly unearthed bank ledger. 
However, now out of print, it is 
generating a steady stream of re- 
quests. A reprint of Lewis Carroll In 
His Oxvn Account is in the works for 
July 2010. Anyone interested in 
purchasing a copy (for £35) 
should contact the author on her 
website. Should we anticipate a 
sequel, Through the Bank Ledger} 

All three volumes of the manga 
cartoon Heart No Kuni No Alice or 
Alice in the Country of Hearts by au- 
thor Quinrose and artist Hoshino 
Soumei are now available in an 
English translation from publisher 
Tokyopop for $10.99 each. 

As part of their new range of hard- 
cover classics, Penguin has re- 
leased a fresh edition of Alice's 
Adventures in Wonderland (ISBN: 
978 0141192468, $20). The strik- 
ing flamingo-print linen cover was 
designed by Coralie Bickford- 
Smith, typographer and chief 
cover designer for Penguin. 

5 1 

From publishing house Evertype, 
specialist in the world of weirder 
Alice editions and spin-offs, comes 
three interesting reissues: two 
fresh reprints of the Boer War-era 
political parodies, Caroline Lewis's 
Clara in Blunderland (ISBN 978- 
1904808497) and its sequel, Lost in 
Blunderland (ISBN 978-1-904808- 
50-3), originally published in 1902 
and each being sold for $12.95, 
and a reprint of the splendidly 
ambitious Alice's Adventures in Won- 
derland, Retold in words of one syllable 
by Mrs. J. C. Gorham, originally 
published in 1905 (ISBN: 978- 


The blogosphere was cock-a-hoop 
with hype for Tim Burton's movie, 
with far too much to report here. 
Just about every newspaper online 
had some sort of round-up of "all 
those awful Alice movies." Mark 
Burstein wrote a good one for a 
George Lucas 's Blockbusting blog. 
The hype inspired many online 
writers to look deeper down the 
rabbit hole. For instance, the Los 
Angeles Times blog "Hero Com- 
plex" ran a daily countdown of 
posts about Carroll, and the New 
York society blog "Woman Around 
Town" interviewed Andrew Sellon 
for a couple of articles about Alice. 

There are also many high-quality 
Carroll-themed blogs being main- 
tained around the world. U.K. 
Author Jenny Woolf writes one, 
and the Lewis Carroll Society of 
Brazil has two colorful blogs kept 
up by Adriana Peliano, to name a 
few with LCSNA connections. 

The tweetosphere is a-twitter with 
Carrollians, with the LCSNA's Far- 
Flung bloggers at ©AliceAmerica 
(and many Carroll friends on our 
list ©AliceAmerica/ Carrollians). 

As digital books become more 
common, more Lewis Carroll 
books are being made available in 
tree-free format. Twenty-seven 
beautifully rendered high-resolu- 

tion facsimiles from Mark Burst- 
ein 's collection are up at the Rare 
Book Room, including translations 
in thirteen languages and with 
various classic Alice illustrators. 

You can also read AA/Win French 
on your iPhone. Alice au pays des 
merveilles can be downloaded for 
around $1.99, which is a real bar- 
gain considering how long it will 
take you to read it on a bumpy 
subway commute. An online ro- 
mance novel website, Red Rose 
Publishing, offers a sexy Beyond the 
Looking Glass by A. P. Miller. 

WOWIO, an online e-book re- 
tailer, passes on 100% of sales 
income to authors and publishers 
through the magic of advertising. 
Comic books are a specialty, in- 
cluding the New Alice in Wonder- 
land series by Rod Espinosa, no 
relation to Dave Berg's 1951 series 
Alice: Neio Adventures in Wonderland, 
also sold by WOWIO. Don't miss 
Issue 11 for "The Giant Who 
Loved Coffee" and "Alice in Flying 

On his blog "Nineteenth Century 
Dust Jackets," compiling material 
for a book of the same name, 
Mark Godburn notes that Carroll's 
letter to Macmillan regarding the 
proposed "paper wrapper" for the 
Snark is the earliest known written 
reference to nineteenth-century 
dust jackets. 

The Victorian Literary Studies 
Archive has a useful online con- 
cordance for all of Carroll's major 

Between March 3 and 16, Audio- 
File, an audiobook magazine and 
website, went "mad about Alice." 
In their madness they offered a 
free downloand of AA/Was read 
by Michael York as part of an on- 
line Listener's Guide to Alice in 
Wonderland. The guide also fea- 
tured interviews with narrators 
and producers of Carroll audio- 
books, along with reviews and 

Two websites created by Cory Tay- 
lor feature computer-programmed 
versions of Dodgson's classic logic 
games, as well more puzzles and 
games inspired by his work. Offer- 
ings include an online version of 
Lanrick for two players. 

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 
Revisited" is an online interactive 
vehicle for reading the text simul- 
taneously horizontally and verti- 
cally. It's a neat trick letdng you 
see other places in the book the 
same word is used and creadng 
"an entirely different, less coher- 
ent, and hopefully enjoyable way 
of reading Alice in Wonderland." 

"Alice in Wonderland - An Adven- 
ture Beyond the Mirror" is a 2D 
platform puzzle with characters 
and graphics inspired by Tim 
Burton's movie. Versions are avail- 
able for the iPhone/iPod Touch, 
Wii, and DS systems. 

"Alice Free Fall," a game for 
iPhone/iPod, has recently been 
updated and improved. Develop- 
ers promise "new magical items" 
and improved game play. 

In the Mac computer game "Alice's 
Teacup Madness," Alice has to earn 
her way out of Wonderland by 
serving tea and pastries to difficult 
customers. Who do you think is the 
best Upper in Wonderland? 

This year has seen our classic Alice 
tale tapped for the new 3D movie 
technology, but the actual Carroll 
text and Tenniel illustrations are 
elsewhere being used to demon- 
strate what a 21st century digital 
interacdve children's book might 
look like. Revolutionary app de- 
signers Atomic Antelope have 
created what may be considered 
the first digital pop-up book on 
the vanguard tablet device, Apple's 
new iPad, using AAIW. It looks like 
it successfully balances a func- 
donal reading experience with 
eye-popping fun. The full book 
sells for $9 from the iStore, and 
there is also a free demo version. 



The Lewis Carroll Society (U.K.) 
invites member and guests to take 
part in a comprehensive study visit 
to Guildford, U.K., from July 15 
to 18, 2010. The four-day trip will 
include lectures, talks, and visits 
to places associated with the last 
years of Carroll's life. Booking and 
prospectus information are avail- 
able on the LCS website. 

"Curiouser and Curiouser: The 
Games and Mind Games of Lewis 
Carroll," an interactive exhibition 
of Carroll's games and puzzles, ran 
from February 2 through March 5 
at The Rare Book & Manuscript 
Library at the University of Illinois 
Urbana-Champaign Library. Vis- 
tors could view Carroll's own chess 
and backgammon boards and 
even try their hand at Lanrick. 

On February 24, The British Li- 
brary in London held an evening 
of Alice celebrations, featuring 
readings and talks by members of 
Tim Burton's production crew and 
cast, as well as a viewing of Cecil 
Hepworth's 1903 film. This was 
followed on March 6 by an illus- 
trated talk entitled "Lewis Carroll 
and Photography: Exposing the 
Truth," given by Edward Wakeling. 

On January 29, best-selling author 
of The Eyre Affair and other novels, 
Jasper Fforde, spoke to the Lewis 
Carroll Society (U.K.) about the 
influence of Lewis Carroll on his 

On Fifth Avenue in New York City, 
Bergdorf Goodman's fabulous 
Christmas window display was 
AATW-themed this year. "In a space 
covered top to bottom with white- 
washed volumes, a dodo bird with 
feathers made out of pages hob- 
bles near a turtle with a lamb's 
head," as the New York Times de- 
scribed just one of many creative 
and intricate designs, in an article 

called "Through the Looking 
Glass: Holiday Feasts for the Eyes" 
(December 4, 2009). 

The Old Hall in Ripon, U.K., vaca- 
tion home of the Dodsgon family 
between 1852 and 1858, is on the 
market, with a guide price of 
£750,000. While staying at the 
Hall, Dodsgon wrote "Ye Carpette 
Knyghte" and "Legend of Scot- 
land" for the Bishop of Ripon's 

In London, the Dorchester Hotel's 
annual Mad Tea Party was held the 
last weekend of October, starring 
young dancers from the English 
National Ballet. 

LCSNA President Andrew Sellon 
gave an informal talk to an appre- 
ciative audience at St. Peter's Col- 
lege in Jersey City, NJ on Wednes- 
day, April 7, about how he fell 
down the rabbit hole and ended 
up a Lewis Carroll fan for life. The 
symposium was followed by a cos- 
tumed tea party. 

The Lewis Carroll Society of Bra- 
zil's first unbirthday meeting was 
on April 11, 2010. It included 
dramatic readings of "Jabber- 
wocky" in Portuguese and English 
accompanied by live music (in- 
cluding a theremin, an early elec- 
tronic instrument) , and the group 
Frame Circus provided music to 
the 1903 silent film. Society 
founder Adriana Peliano spoke 
about Alice illustrations from Victo- 
rian to contemporary. 



As reported once or twice else- 
where, Walt Disney Studios has 
released a 3D Alice in Wonderland 
directed by Tim Burton. Whether 
it was Zeitgeist or March (Hare) 
Madness, the floodgates opened 
for several other versions to re- 
emerge or be submerged beneath 
Disney's behemoth Underland: 

The 1933 Paramount Alice in Won- 
derland was the first all-star-cast 
talkie adaptation to underwhelm 
moviegoers, but it has never been 
released on VHS or DVD. For 
uninspired reasons, Universal 
Home Entertainment (which 
bought the rights in 1957) chose 
the week of the Disney movie to 
finally release it, albeit transferred 
from a poor copy and with small 
fanfare. If you have been waiting 
decades to see Cary Grant totally 
concealed inside a giant mock 
turde suit, your hour has arrived. 

NBC-TV's 1999 irritating version 
and Jonathan Miller's somber 
1966 BBC version were also re- 
released on DVD the same week. 
Now is the chance to stock up your 
collection before all of this falls 
out of print again. 

A two-part miniseries called Alice 
premiered on SyFy (the channel 
formerly spelled Sci-Fi) in Decem- 
ber 2009 (reviewed by Andrew 
Sellon on page 46). Almost no 
one noticed when it was also re- 
leased on DVD that same first 
week of March that everything 
else came out. 

A thirty-minute student film ver- 
sion of The Hunting of the Snark 
directed by Brooklynite Peter 
Pavlakis premiered at the Queens 
International Film Festival at the 
Frank Sinatra School of the Arts 
on November 14, 2009. Judging by 
the trailer, it looks as if it cleaves 
pretty close to the original poem. 

The Simpsons, Season 2 1 , Episode 8 
("Oh Brother Where Bart Thou") 
showed Lisa reading a spectacular 
Alice in Wonderland pop-up book to 
her baby sister, Maggie. If only that 
pop-up with Simpsons-ified illus- 
trations really existed! 

Disney's un-anniversary DVD re- 
release of their 1951 cartoon 
movie includes LCSNA member 
(and preeminent Disney Alice 
collector) Matt Crandall speaking 
in the special features as an "Alice 



In 1957, a popular LP version of 
AA/Wwas released, narrated and 
sung by Cyril Ritchard (and is sull 
available in many formats today) . 
The music, which many children 
of that generation heard so many 
times, was written by American 
light classical composer Alec 
Wilder (he also wrote television 
operas, such as Miss Chicken Little 
[1953] for CBS, and was friends 
with Frank Sinatra and Tony Ben- 
nett). Unfortunately, the original 
instrumental score, for string quar- 
tet plus percussion, was lost. Or 
rather, it was lost until it was found 
in composer Gunther Schuller's 
attic a few years ago. Having always 
wanted to, Professor John Koehn 
staged a performance at Indiana 
University of Pennsylvania's College 
of Fine Arts on December 12 and 
19, with the school's dean, Michael 
Hood, reading from the story. 

A musician named Kristian Schei- 
blecker has written very pretty 
songs set to some of Carroll's 
"non-nonsense" poetry. We do not 
know if they are to be released for 
sale in any format, but you can 
listen to a thirteen-track playlist of 
them (some labeled "unfinished"), 
at his website, which, even if it 
continues to evolve, already plays 
together nicely as an album. He 
and collaborator Pontus Nilsson 
graced the U.K. Lewis Carroll 
Society's December 2009 party at 
the Art Workers Guild in London. 

Fourteen-year-old U.K. pop-classi- 
cal sensation Faryl Smith (a gradu- 
ate of Britain 's Got Talent) released 
her second album, Wonderland, in 
December 2009. A concept album 
"loosely based on Lewis Carroll's 
novel," wrote the Evening Telegraph 
(U.K), which also quoted Faryl on 
Carroll: "it's one of my favorite 
books, it's so dreamy and playful." 

The transatlantic "cosmopolitan 
post-bop" group NYNDK released 
The Hunting of the Snark on the 
label Jazzheads in November 2009. 
The album includes hip versions 
of Charles Ives, Edvard Grieg, and 
Carl Nielsen. The titular track 
begins with some snarky outgriba- 
tions on trombone, but we 
couldn't find any explanation for 
the use of the title beyond catchy 

In addition to Danny Elfman's 
original motion picture sound- 
track for Tim Burton's Alice in 
Wonderland, there was a comple- 
mentary album called Almost Alice, 
full of Alice-themed indie pop 
songs. It includes several straight- 
up settings of Carroll's poems, 
such as Franz Ferdinand's "The 
Lobster Quadrille" and They 
Might Be Giants' "You Are Old, 
Father William." There is also a 
cover of Jefferson Airplane's 
"White Rabbit" by Grace Potter 
and the Nocturnals. The most 
downloaded song was Avril Lavi- 
gne's "Alice," which contains the 
lyrics "I'm freakin' out, where am I 
now? /Upside-down and I can't 
stop it now/ Can't stop me now, 
oh, oh." 



Frank Wildhorn is the musical 
theater composer who brought 
the world Jekyll & Hyde and The 
Scarlet Pimpernel at a comparatively 
young age. His new Wonderland: 
Alice 's New Musical Adventure 
played the counties this season 
with dreams of Broadway. It pre- 
miered in the Tampa Bay Per- 
forming Arts Center, Florida, on 
November 24, 2010, and closed in 
Houston's Alley Theatre on Febru- 
ary 14. In the musical, Alice Corn- 
winkle (Janet Dacal) is a grown-up 
children's book author living in 
Manhattan. "It takes a trip to a 
strange-yet-familiar Wonderland 
for her to regain her life's balance 
and again find the love and every- 

day magic that reside in us all— if 
we know how to look." Wildhorn 
wrote the music with lyricist Jack 
Murphy; the book is by Murphy 
and Gregory Boyd. 

Kim Merrill's play Exposure Time, 
which won the 2009 Edgerton 
Foundation New American Plays 
Award, was premiered by the New 
Jersey Repertory Theater in Long 
Branch, New Jersey, on February 
11, 2010, and ran through March 
21. It is about Dodgson's struggle 
to be taken seriously as "the great- 
est portrait photographer in the 
British Empire," and includes 
Alice Liddell, Julia Margaret Cam- 
eron, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 
as characters. 

In October and November of 
2009, Stages Theater, a company 
that produces plays acted by and 
for children, presented an adapta- 
tion of AAfWat the Hopkins Cen- 
ter for the Arts. As reviewed by 
Ruth Berman, the show was held 
"in a theater-in-the-round space, 
with minimal, but ingenious stag- 
ing. For instance, the fall down 
the rabbit hole was represented 
by having Alice climb a little way 
up a rope and having other cast 
members pass the rope from one 
to the next in a circle that made 
Alice (very slowly descending the 
rope) seem to be falling and spin- 
ning as she fell. The Queen of 
Hearts was played by the small- 
est/youngest girl in the cast, 
which gave an amusing flavor to 
her dominating ways." 

In February, Dingle Community 
Theatre in Liverpool, U.K., pre- 
sented Alice in Dingleland, a "scous- 
alized pantomime" version of 
AATW, in which "posh" Alice is 
turned into a true Scouser under 
the influence of local characters 
including the Scouse Mouse and 
Dave the Knave. ("Scouse" is an- 
other term for Liverpudlian.) 

Choreographer Christopher 
Wheeldon has revealed he is work- 
ing on a production of AATW Tor 


the English Royal Ballet. Wheel- 
don hinted that the ballet, scored 
by Joby Talbot, will mix a Victorian 
aesthetic with rock music. It is 
likely to open in 2011. 

Skin Horse Theater, a group out 
of Bard College in New York, per- 
formed their "Curiouser: A His- 
torical Inaccuracy" at several ven- 
ues around the country. It recently 
played April 9-1 1 and 18-19 at the 
Backyard Ballroom in New Or- 
leans, Louisiana. Lewis Carroll 
(Veronica Hunsinger-Loe), Alice 
Liddell (Evan Spigelman), and 
Sylvia Plath (Brian Dorsam) ex- 
plored themes of history and artis- 
tic angst in this play created di- 
rected by Nat Kusinitz. 


Artist Lisa Snellings has begun 
work on a second series of Alice 
in Wonderland "Poppets," small 
sculpted figures, intended to 
be "adorable . . . and sort of . . . 
creepy." Alice and the Caterpillar 
were auctioned on eBay in Janu- 
ary. More may follow this year. 

Bas Bleu, online retailer of gifts 
and accessories for readers, is 
selling a miniature version of the 
Paul Cardew tea set decorated with 
quotes and illustrations from 
AA/W($55). A similar set, with two 
espresso-shaped cups, square sau- 
cers, and spoons, comes in a han- 
dled papier-mache box and is 
available at Barnes 8c Noble, 
among other places. Correct dos- 
age of mushroom required to 
miniaturize user is not included. 

"Vintage" card kits and rubber 
stamps featuring Tenniel's Alice 
illustrations are available from Two craft 

kits make "Alice in Wonderland" — 
and "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" — 
themed greetings cards, because 
"You don't need a reason to give 
an unbirthday card." 

Swarovski collaborated with Disney 
for a line of sparkling baubles 
inspired by characters and scenery 
in the 2010 movie, including, 
mysteriously, a "Tea Party Donut 

Designer Tom Binns also has a line 
of Disney-sanctioned jewelery, 
heavy with Queen of Hearts and 
broken teacup motifs. The cosdy 
items are rumored to be on sale in 
boutiques this spring for merely 
$1,000-$ 1,500 each. 

Cosmetics brand Urban Decay 
released an "Alice in Wonderland 
Box of Shadows," featuring a pop- 
up scene from the 2010 movie and 
sixteen eyeshadows with names 
like "Muchness" and "Jabber- 

Twenty new cards from Blue Barn- 
house letterpress called "A Week- 
end With Alice" re-interpret Tenn- 
iel's classic Alice illustrations with 
irreverent captions. Available on- 
line for $5 each. 

In her "Steampunk Wonderland" 
jewelery and barrette collection, 
Rivkasmom combines antique 
watch gears, clock faces, tiny tea- 
pots, and little brass top hats into 
sparkling items of wearable and 
affordable literary allusion. 

Action figures based on Tim Bur- 
ton's Alice and Mad Hatter have 
been released by Medicom. Mattel 
also released a Mad Hatter Barbie. 
Move over, Ken. Way over. 

Drive yourself mad with an Alice- 
themed interlocking pocket puz- 
zle, sold at ThinkGeek. The puzzle 
is a version of the classic mechani- 
cal game involving two interlock- 
ing pieces that must be separated, 
only this time your motivation is to 
"help Alice navigate the Red 
Queen's maze." 

Tenniel's AA/Willustrations are 
the inspiration for a new range 
of cotton prints from Windham 
Fabrics. The fabric range, ideal 
for children's quilts or conspicu- 
ous shirts, contains a diverse mix 
of storyboard prints, playing card 
patterns, and complementing 

For a fraction of the cost of chang- 
ing your name to Alice, you can 
change Alice's name to yours. 
Custom-printed "Personalized 
Classics" by Acorn Gifts replace 
the names of up to six main char- 
acters with names of your choos- 
ing. Star in Alice's Adventures in 
Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, or 
Romeo and Juliet. What's in a name, 

Porcelain plaques hand-painted by 
Sir John Tenniel were auctioned 
by PBA Galleries in San Francisco 
on March 18, 2010. The plaques 
were used as menu cards at Ten- 
niel family dinners. The low esti- 
mate for these beautiful items was 
$20,000, but they did not sell. 

For a mere $6,500, you can own 
"The Alice at The Tea Party Chess 
Set," created by doll artist Lucia 
Friedericy and sold online by Doll- 
masters. What is described as a 
chess set is actually a collection 
of sixteen hand-sculpted hand- 
finished poseable porcelain dolls 
on a parquet presentation stand. 

As if Alice had chased the white 
rabbit across freshly poured con- 
crete, garden stepping stones sold 
by Old Durham Road preserve 
their footprints along with a quo- 
tation. Three stepping stones are 
available: one for Alice, one for 
the rabbit and one for the 
Cheshire Cat, $25 each.