Happy Alice in Wonderland Day

In celebration of the 150th Alice Day in Oxford, here are some curious and curiouser links to check out:

  • The British Library has a fantastic online exhibit where you can view the original handwritten and hand illustrated manuscript by Lewis Carroll. And, some history of that famous original manuscript —

The final 90-page manuscript was completed in September 1864, bound in green morocco leather and given to Alice on 26 November. Carroll’s inscription read ‘A Christmas Gift to a Dear Child, in Memory of a Summer Day’. The earlier text contains private Liddell family jokes and references which were later removed from the expanded story.

‘Alice’s Adventures Under Ground’ and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlanddiffer in quite a few respects, most significantly in their length. ‘Alice’s Adventures Under Ground’ contains 12,715 words compared to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland which was expanded by Carroll to 26,211. John Tenniel was commissioned to provide the illustrations, several of which were based on Carroll’s original sketches in the manuscript.

  • The Bodleian Library at University of Oxford has had some fantastic displays in the past, such as this one from 2010. (check their website for the most update information) —

“For one day only, the Bodleian Library is putting on display a selection of items from its collections relating to Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The event is part of Oxford’s Alice’s Day celebrations taking place citywide this Saturday, 10 July.

Items on show include twelve Alice in Wonderlandillustrations with original woodcuts and an original etching by Salvador Dali dating 1969. Also on display will be a printing plate for The Mouse’s Tale, a poem by Caroll, from c.1890, kindly lent by the Oxford University Press archive and a selection of earliest editions of Alice in Wonderland.

The display includes a first edition printed by Oxford University Press in 1865 which was withdrawn by Carroll because the book’s illustrator, John Tenniel, found the printing unsatisfactory. Other early editions of the work will also be on display including the first American publication from 1866.”

“ … a collaboration of epic proportion took place as the Lewis Carroll classic was illustrated by none other than Salvador Dalí. Published by New York’s Maecenas Press-Random House in 1969 and distributed as their book of the month, the volume went on to become one of the most sought-after Dalí suites of all time. It contains 12 heliogravures, one for each chapter of the book, and one original signed etching in 4 colors as the frontpiece, all of which the fine folks at the William Bennett Gallery have kindly digitized for your gasping pleasure”


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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

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