Alice in Wonderland 150
Alice in Wonderland (1865) is 150 years old. The book and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass (1871), by Lewis Carroll, were the first children’s novels to create a complete fantasy world. Before Alice, children’s books were mostly moralistic or religious, with titles such as ‘An Exact Account of the Conversion, Holy Lives and Joyful Deaths of Several Young Children’. The Alice books are infused with word play, parody of Victorian society, anarchy, and creepy characters (courtesy of Tenniel’s illustrations; the sheep below is my favourite). Alice revolutionized children’s literature.
- The lovely hardback version with Zadie Smith’s intro and Mervyn Peake’s pictures.
- The Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner is the definitive geek’s guide.
- Salvador Dali’s illustrated Alice (view the paintings here.)