'I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole . . . without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,' wrote Charles Dodgson, describing how Alice was conjured up one 'golden afternoon' in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. His dream worlds of nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom depict order turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig, time is abandoned at a disordered tea-party and a chaotic game of chess makes a seven-year-old girl a Queen. But amongst the anarchic humour and sparkling word play, puzzles, paradoxes and riddles, are poignant moments of elegiac nostalgia for lost childhood. Startlingly original and experimental, the Alice books provide readers with a double window on both child and adult worlds.
This is the most comprehensively annotated edition available and includes the manuscript version of Alice's Adventures Underground and Carroll's essay '"Alice" on the Stage' written for the under Ground Theatre in 1887.
About the Author
Lewis Carroll was the pen-name of the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Born in 1832, he was educated at Rugby School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he was appointed lecturer in mathematics in 1855, and where he spent the rest of his life. In 1861 he took deacon's orders, but shyness and a constitutional stammer prevented him from seeking the priesthood. He never married, but was very fond of children and spent much time with them. His most famous works, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1872), were originally written for Alice Liddell, the daughter of the dean of his college. Charles Dodgson died of bronchitis in 1898.
"A work of glorious intelligence and literary devices...Nonsense becomes a form of higher sense"
"Alice in Wonderland is one of the top 25 books of all time. I always loved the book and I always loved the various characters, the psychedelic nature of it and kind-of odd allegorical stories inside stories. I always thought it was beautiful."
"Wonderland and the world through the Looking Glass were, I always knew, different from other imagined worlds. Nothing could be changed, although things in the story were always changing...Carroll moves his readers as he moves chess pieces and playing cards."
-A. S. Byatt
"It would not have occurred to me even to suspect that the "children's tale" was in brilliant ways coded to be read by adults and was in fact an English classic, a universally acclaimed intellectual tour de force and what might be described as a psychological/anthropological dissection of Victorian England. It seems not to have occurred to me that the child-Alice of drawing rooms, servants, tea and crumpets and chess, was of a distinctly different background than my own. I must have been the ideal reader: credulous, unjudging, eager, thrilled. I knew only that I believed in Alice, absolutely."
-Joyce Carol Oates
"The Alices are the greatest nonsense ever written, and far greater, in my view, than most sense."
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
For Grades: 7 - 9
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: May 2003
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.4 x 13.1
Weight (kg): 0.34
Edition Number: 1