― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland books have delighted readers across the globe for over a hundred years. Alice in Wonderland Collection – All Four Books presents the two most famous Alice books – Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass – as well as the Alice-related fantasy verse The Hunting of the Snark and, for Alice aficionados, a digitized copy of Alice’s Adventures Underground, the shorter, original Alice in Wonderland manuscript which Carroll wrote for his friends and family before they encouraged him to expand the book and send it to a publisher.
Also included in this collection
'Alice in Wonderland,' Alice Through the Looking Glass'
'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backward.'
In Carroll's sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice once again finds herself in a bizarre and nonsensical place when she passes through a mirror and enters a looking-glass world where nothing is quite as it seems. From her guest appearance as a pawn in a chess match to her meeting with Humpty Dumpty, Through the Looking Glass follows Alice on her curious adventure and shows Carroll's great skill at creating an imaginary world full of the fantastical and extraordinary.
Willy Pogány, a prolific Hungarian-born artist best known for his illustrations of classic myths and legends, created these striking drawings in 1929. Pogány's intricate black-and-white images retain the story's playful spirit while injecting a zesty modern air to depictions of the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, and other fantastical characters. This restoration of Pogány's long out-of-print illustrations offers a fine introduction to a classic tale, as well as splendid addition to the collections of those already acquainted with Alice's adventures.
So begins Alice’s adventures in the amazing world of Wonderland. In the pages that follow a strange liquid will shrink her to only ten inches tall; a curious cake will disappear before her eyes; a mad hatter will invite her to tea – and Alice will play a very dangerous game of croquet…
The character of Alice is based on Alice Liddell, the ten-year-old daughter of an academic at Christ Church College in Oxford, where author Lewis Carroll studied and taught. Carroll would tell Alice stories to entertain her: Alice begged him to write them out and he presented them to her in 1864. He was later persuaded to publish and, after further additions, the book as we know it today appeared in 1865, including the famous illustrations by John Tenniel.
Alice in Wonderland was Lewis Carroll’s first novel and its fantasy plot, humorous rhymes and brilliant use of nonsense was revolutionary. Nineteenth-century children’s writing usually served moral or educational purpose, but Alice was written firmly and purely for the amusement of children. Critical response was lukewarm, but the book was still a great success, and remains a hugely influential classic of children’s literature.
Alice appeals to adults as well as children and over the years readers and critics have found within it all manner of riddles, puzzles, mathematical concepts and references to Carroll’s famous and not-so-famous friends.
Lewis Carroll was the pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, born in 1832 in Cheshire in the north of England. His father, the local rector, came from a family of distinguished scholars and clergymen. Dodgson continued the academic family tradition and studied mathematics and theology, eventually becoming a mathematician at Oxford University.
He first began to write comic poetry and prose in the 1850s and had several pieces published in magazines, where he first began to use the name Lewis Carroll. In 1856 he met four-year-old Alice Liddell who was to inspire the book which made Dodgson’s name, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published in 1865. The book was an immediate success, was translated into many languages and soon established itself as an English classic. Its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, appeared in 1871. Their revolutionary combination of word-play, humour and nonsense had never been seen before in writing for children. His other great masterpiece of nonsense is the poem The Hunting of the Snark (1876), and other books for children including Phantasmagoria (1869) and Sylvie and Bruno (1889).
Charles Dodgson never married and remained at Oxford all his adult life, where he wrote several books on mathematics and logic as well as devising board games and brainteasers. He was also an expert photographer, famous for his portraits of children and many artistic personalities of the day. He died in 1898
When Alice takes a tumble following the White Rabbit, she finds herself in a world in which nothing is what it is, because everything is what it isn't. But can Alice make sense of the nonsense in the land of the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat? And will she ever get home again?
‘Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”’
So begins the tale of Alice, who follows a curious White Rabbit down a hole and falls into Wonderland, a fantastical place where nothing is quite as it seems: animals talk, nonsensical characters confuse, Mad Hatters throw tea parties and the Queen plays croquet. Alice’s attempts to find her way home become increasingly bizarre, infuriating and amazing in turn.
A beloved classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has continued to delight readers, young and old, for over 150 years.
Brooks and hedges divide the lush greenery of looking-glass land into a chessboard, where Alice becomes a pawn in a bizarre game of chess involving Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Lion and the Unicorn, the White Knight, and other nursery-rhyme figures. Promised a crown when she reaches the eighth square, Alice perseveres through a surreal landscape of amusing characters that pelt her with riddles and humorous semantic quibbles and regale her with memorable poetry, including the oft-quoted "Jabberwocky."
This handsome, inexpensive edition, featuring the original John Tenniel illustrations, makes available to today's readers a classic of juvenile literature long cherished for its humor, whimsy, and incomparable fantasy.