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Original "Alice" posted online
March 17, 2010 6:08 PM   Subscribe

The original version of Alice in Wonderland, handwritten and hand-drawn by Lewis Carroll, has been posted online. The illustrations are a treat in themselves.

"[Carroll] was fond of children and became friends with Lorina, Alice and Edith Liddell, the young daughters of the Dean of his college, Christ Church. One summer's day in 1862 he entertained them on a boat trip with a story of Alice's adventures in a magical world entered through a rabbit-hole. The ten-year-old Alice was so entranced that she begged him to write it down for her. It took him some time to write out the tale - in a tiny, neat hand - and complete the 37 illustrations. Alice finally received the 90-page book, dedicated to 'a dear child, in memory of a summer day', in November 1864."
posted by emilyd22222 (26 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's a coincidence. I was in the British Library just yesterday, looking at the original. I couldn't help wonder if it was his first draft, or if he was transcribing an earlier draft into this final copy.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:17 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid I had an old paperback that contained the full standard text of Alice in Wonderland with the Tenniel illustrations, as well as a complete reproduction of the Alice's Adventures Underground manuscript. I wish I still had that book.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:26 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank science for wget. Museum sites wear me out.
posted by Sukiari at 6:30 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nifty. I have a postgrad paper due on Alice In Wonderland end of the month. Guess I better get back to it.
posted by New England Cultist at 6:34 PM on March 17, 2010


First motion picture adaptation of Alice and Wonderland, (1903) recently restored. "With a running time of just 12 minutes (8 of which survive), Alice in Wonderland was the longest film produced in England at that time. Film archivists have been able to restore the film's original colours for the first time in over 100 years."
posted by crunchland at 7:02 PM on March 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's so alchemy...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 7:13 PM on March 17, 2010


It took him some time to write out the tale - in a tiny, neat hand - and complete the 37 illustrations.

It only took him two years. You know, if I had promised to write somebody down a 90 page story with 37 illustrations in 1862, you best believe they'd still be waiting on it.
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:16 PM on March 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Graphic artists so seldom get the recognition they deserve, eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tenniel

. . . best remembered today for his illustrations in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.
posted by RoseyD at 7:27 PM on March 17, 2010


I am just not fond of wikipedia links, or unlinked URL's, for that matter, so here are:

Sir John Tenniel's Alice In Wonderland

Lenny's Alice in Wonderland site - John Tenniel and his illustrations
posted by y2karl at 8:13 PM on March 17, 2010


y2k, how do you get your links to have the alt/popup text?
posted by yiftach at 8:45 PM on March 17, 2010


TextArc Reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
posted by tellurian at 9:14 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


When visiting London a few years ago, this manuscript and the copy or two of the Magna Carta were the two highlights (we thought) in the British Library. Very cool!
posted by sirvesa at 9:47 PM on March 17, 2010


yiftach: the "title" attribute of an anchor: <a href="link destination" title="informative text regarding link">text of link</a>.
posted by kenko at 10:06 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I learnt it one night here a long time ago when iconomy growed me from a bean.

What I was going to say is go to the View menu, click on Source. That will show the same thing that kenko has decribed. View Source is your friend.

You can't use double quotes as such in the text and you can't have line breaks or copy anything from a web page with text in bold or italics or such--not without pasting it to Notepad and recopying it there lest the html show up in the quoted text.
posted by y2karl at 10:55 PM on March 17, 2010


curiouser and curiouser
posted by philip-random at 11:59 PM on March 17, 2010


Curious, all the things in the site seems contra-indicative thought Alice.
posted by The Whelk at 12:26 AM on March 18, 2010


Alice Illustrations other than Tenniel
posted by carsonb at 3:42 AM on March 18, 2010


hand-drawn by Lewis Carrol

Alice Illustrations other than Tenniel

LIARS!! There is no illustrator of Alice other than Tenniel! LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU
posted by DU at 4:49 AM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that the British Library is only exhibiting this until June, along with Carrol's diary open to the page where he writes about first meeting Alice Liddell. So, if you are in the London area, definitely go soon. I may be mistaken about this, though.
posted by vacapinta at 6:03 AM on March 18, 2010


In the US one does not have any additional copyright rights on non-derivative reproduction, no matter how much effort you went through to make it authentic and accurate. So, while this is nice, fuck the UK-based British Library, their copyright, their small "full size" images, and especially fuck their ugly-ass obscuring red watermark. If you're going to show me a precious antiquity, just fucking show it to me, don't piss on it first. Assholes.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:54 AM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Graphic artists so seldom get the recognition they deserve, eh?

Just to be clear: Tenniel is justifiably famous for his illustrations for the published version of Alice. This link is to the manuscript version, hand lettered and illustrated by Dodgson himself, as a gift to the Liddell girls.
posted by anastasiav at 7:34 AM on March 18, 2010


wasn't he more than a little "fond of children"?
posted by diggum at 7:35 AM on March 18, 2010


My boyfriend presented me with a limited edition facsimile of Alice's Adventures Under Ground this past Christmas after I went the entire year without buying a single book for myself [recovering bookaholic, I am]. It's such a lovely little volume, and the illustrations are so, so wonderful. I was pleasantly stunned, and almost afraid to open it. It also came with a booklet written by the Curator of Modern Manuscripts at the British Library that traced the history of it and Carroll's friendship with Alice, and boasts a few pictures taken by Carroll himself.

It is the best present I've ever received from anyone. Ever.
posted by alynnk at 7:44 AM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course everybody has this version right?

I remember being blown away by the description of stereo-isomers in the looking glass milk section...
posted by toodleydoodley at 12:20 PM on March 18, 2010


I, too, have a facsimile edition of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, which I found in a Half-Price Books at the same time I was picking up a copy of the complete works of Lewis Carroll for my wife. It's a little beat up, but super-cool.
posted by owtytrof at 12:22 PM on March 18, 2010


>My understanding is that the British Library is only exhibiting this until June, along with Carroll's diary open to the page where he writes about first meeting Alice Liddell. So, if you are in the London area, definitely go soon. I may be mistaken about this, though.

I think the diary may only be out till June, but the Alice manuscript is part of the permanent display.

>In the US one does not have any additional copyright rights on non-derivative reproduction, no matter how much effort you went through to make it authentic and accurate. So, while this is nice, fuck the UK-based British Library, their copyright, their small "full size" images, and especially fuck their ugly-ass obscuring red watermark. If you're going to show me a precious antiquity, just fucking show it to me, don't piss on it first. Assholes.

A little harsh, no? On the copyright issue: plenty of US museums and galleries license their images, just as the BL does, so while I'm aware there is a debate to be had about this, I don't think it's particularly to do with UK vs US copyright law. Regarding the size of the images: the dimensions of the original manuscript are 190 x 123 mm, and the images presented here (click on 'full page image' and then click again to enlarge) are actually larger than the original.
posted by verstegan at 8:58 AM on March 20, 2010


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