Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrations by John Tenniel
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
Illustrations by John Tenniel

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 - 1898), otherwise known as Lewis Carroll, is best known for his classic book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, but Carroll led a varied and interesting life outside of writing literary nonsense. The author was also known as a brilliant scholar and spent a large portion of his life teaching mathamatics including geometry, algebra and logic at Christ Church college at Oxford. He went on to publish several mathematics books as well as puzzles, games and riddles.

Illustration of Alice by Arthur Rackham
Illustration of Alice by Arthur Rackham

Dodgson took up photography in 1856 and became known as a gentleman-photographer. There is considerable controversy surrounding his photographs as a large percentage of the pictues he took depict young girls, some of them unclothed. Since Dodgson's death, there have been numerous scholars who have debated and challenged the suggestion that he was involved in paedophilia photography. Some have argued that the study of child nudes were common and even fashionable during the time that Dodgson took up photography.

The first piece of work published in 1856 under the name Lewis Carroll was a romantic poem called Solitude. That same year, Dodgson was introduced to a family with three children, one of them named Alice, that would influence his writing career. Various accounts have stated that Dodgson first told the story of Alice's Adventures Under Ground (the original title) and ultimately had the book published in 1865 under the name Alice's Adventures in Wonderland after various other titles were discussed including Alice Among the Fairies and Alice's Golden Hour. The original manuscript was illustrated by Dodgson but when it went to print, the author thought a more skilled artist should illustrate the book, so illustrator Sir John Tenniel was hired for the job.

Lewis Carroll went on to write additional commercially successful books including the sequel - Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There in 1871. Some claim that Carroll's last great piece of work was The Hunting of the Snark, a nonsense poem about the adventures of a crew including a beaver who set out to find the creature. Jabberwocky was another nonsense verse poem that appeared in Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.

Although Dodgson did quite well for himself, he continued to teach at Christ Church until 1881 and lived there in residence until his death. His last novel, Sylvie and Bruno was published in 1889. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has never gone out of print, has been translated into at least 97 different languages, and has been adapted into various stage, television and film versions.

 

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Versions of Alice

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, published by Appleton
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

Disliked by Carroll for poor print quality, the original edition (print run of 2,000) was sold to the publishing house of Appleton.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

This edition, published in 1865 (but with a date of 1866) by Macmillan and Co. is virtually identical to the Appleton edition.
Alice's Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures Under Ground
Lewis Carroll

An 1886 facsimile of the earlier Alice's Adventures Under Ground published by Macmillan.
Alice's Abenteuer im Wunderland by Lewis Carroll, translated by Antonie Zimmerman
Alice's Abenteuer im Wunderland
Lewis Carroll

Published in German in 1869, translation by Antonie Zimmerman.
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There
Lewis Carroll

The sequel to the first book, published in 1872 by Macmillan and Co.
The Nursery Alice by Lewis Carroll
The Nursery Alice
Lewis Carroll

Published in 1890, a simplified version with illustrations from the original by Tenniel which had been colored and enlarged.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

Published in 1907 as an limited edition of 1,130 numbered copies - numerous illustrations by Arthur Rackham.
Alice's Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the People's
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

The "People's Edition", published in 1891
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, issued by Macmillan as the "Little Folks Edition".
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

In 1903 Macmillan issued the "Little Folks Edition" with abbreviated text and new colour versions of the Tenniel pictures.
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll, first US edition
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There
Lewis Carroll

First US edition, published in 1872 by Lee & Shepard.

Continuations of the Alice Story

A New Alice in the Old Wonderland by Anna M. Richards (1895)
A New Alice in the Old Wonderland
Anna M. Richards (1895)

Another Alice Book, Please by A.L. Gibson
Another Alice Book, Please
A. L. Gibson
(1924)

New Adventures of Alice by John Rae
New Adventures of Alice
John Rae
(1917)


More Alice
Yates Wilson
(1959)

Other Works by Carroll

Phantasmagoria by Lewis Carroll
Phantasmagoria
Lewis Carroll

The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll
The Hunting of the Snark
Lewis Carroll

Euclid and his Modern Rivals by Charles L. Dodgson
Euclid and his Modern Rivals
Charles L. Dodgson

Rhyme? and Reason? by Lewis Carroll
Rhyme? and Reason?
Lewis Carroll

A Tangled Tale by Lewis Carroll
A Tangled Tale
Lewis Carroll

Most Expensive Lewis Carroll Books Sold on AbeBooks

1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - $2,200
Hardbound in red leatherboards with gilt decorations in blue slipcase. Signed by Alice Hargreaves (Liddell), the real Alice, as well as by the type and binding designer.

2. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - $1,420
Published one year after the first edition, in the original boards. Illustrated throughout by John Tenniel.

3. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - $1,150
31st thousand and 15th thousand editions 1872 of the first editions. Illustrated throughout by John Tenniel.

4. Alice in Wonderland - $875
1879 near fine clean tight bright stated 60th thousand printing.

5. The Lewis Carroll Picture Book - $775
1899 - Original red cloth decorated in gilt, beveled. first edition, edited by Lewis Carroll's nephew. An interesting volume, belying the limitations of its chief title. Besides 24 illustrations it contains reprints and new matter. The illustrations are chiefly from Lewis Carroll's own photography of well-known persons, child-friends, and comic subjects.

 

Interesting Lewis Carroll Facts

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
Charles Lutwidge
Dodgson

  • After the Bible, Koran and Shakespeare, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is the most frequently quoted and best known book in the world.

  • Lewis Carroll had seven sisters and three brothers.

  • In 1867, Lewis took his first and only trip abroad across Europe to Russia.

  • Carroll invented many word games and mathematical puzzles, including word ladder, also known as doublets.

  • Carroll gave the manuscript of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Alice Liddell, the women who inspired Carroll to tell the story when she was a little girl.

  • The real Alice, whom the story is modeled on, had dark hair, unlike the Alice in the book who has blonde hair.

  • Carroll based the Dodo character upon himself.

  • Liddell sold the Alice manuscript at auction in 1928 for £15,400.

  • The manuscript now resides in the British Library.

  • At the end of Through the Looking Glass there is a poem, the first letter of each line spells out Alice’s name.

 

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