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Book review: “The making of Lewis Carroll’s Alice – and the Invention of Wonderland”

This month a new book about the origins of the ‘Alice’ books was published: “The making of Lewis Carroll’s Alice – and the Invention of Wonderland”, written by Peter Hunt.

In the book, Hunt mainly discusses the three ‘layers’ that can be found in the Alice in Wonderland books (including Alice’s Adventures Under Ground):

  1. Private jokes that only Alice and her sisters would understand (mainly in “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”);
  2. References to things in their society;
  3. Dodgson’s private thoughts and feelings (mainly in “Through the Looking Glass”).

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Alice in Wonderland anniversary

On the 4th of July 1862, the first version of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” was told to Alice and her sisters, which is 158 years ago today!

Are you celebrating the story’s anniversary? Oxford’s yearly “Alice’s Day” is now going virtual because of COVID-19, so check out their page for inspiration regarding activities you can do yourself or with your family: https://www.storymuseum.org.uk/about-us/alices-day-1

I myself have participated in the ‘Picture This’ challenge and have made several recreations of the original illustrations with stuff in and around the house. Here are the ones that I think turned out best:

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Virtual Alice’s Day

Every year around the 4th of July there is Alice’s Day in Oxford. Because of COVID-19, this year’s event will be digital!

As this year is the 200th anniversary of John Tenniel’s birth, the theme of the day will be ‘Picture This’. Elements of the programme include:

  • A live draw-along;
  • Picture This Challenge: recreate scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass at home;
  • Making a tea party using only items which have come from plants and trees.

For more details, see https://www.storymuseum.org.uk/about-us/alices-day-1. The full programme will be posted on the 4th of July.

Exhibition: “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”

Only three more months until the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will open their long awaited Alice in Wonderland exhibition. Tickets are available since today!

The exhibition explores the “origins, adaptations and reinventions” of the story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and “charts the evolution of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from manuscript to a global phenomenon beloved by all ages”.

The exhibition is set up as a theatrical show, which means that there will be theatrical sets, large digital projections and ‘immersive environments’. There will be over 300 objects to explore, related to film, performance, fashion, art, music and photography.

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