In 1862 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy Oxford mathematician with a stammer, created a story about a little girl tumbling down a rabbit hole. Thus began the immortal adventures of Alice, perhaps the most popular heroine in English literature. Countless scholars have tried to define the charm of the Alice books–with those wonderfully eccentric characters the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledum, and Tweedledee, the Cheshire Cat, Mock Turtle, the Mad Hatter et al.–by proclaiming that they really comprise a satire on language, a political allegory, a parody of Victorian children’s literature, even a reflection of contemporary ecclesiastical history. Perhaps, as Dodgson might have said, Alice is no more than a dream, a fairy tale about the trials and tribulations of growing up–or down, or all turned round–as seen through the expert eyes of a child.
That Alice. When she's not traipsing after a rabbit into Wonderland, she's gallivanting off into the topsy-turvy world behind the drawing-room looking glass. In Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll's masterful and zany sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, she makes more eccentric acquaintances, including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the White Queen, and a somewhat grumpy Humpty Dumpty. Through a giant and elaborate chess game, Alice explores this odd country, where one must eat dry biscuits to quench thirst, and run like the wind to stay in one place. As in life, Alice must stay on her toes to learn the rules of this game. Through the Looking Glass immediately took its rightful place beside its partner on the shelf of eternal classics. And luckily for generations of enraptured children, Carroll was again able to persuade John Tenniel to create the fantastic woodblock engravings that have become so indelibly associated with the Alice stories. For almost 130 years, Alice's curious adventures have amused, perplexed, and delighted readers, young and old. This gorgeous, deluxe boxed set of both volumes contains engravings from Tenniel's original woodblocks that were discovered in a London bank in 1985, and reproduced for the first time here. "'What is the use of a book,' thought Alice, 'without pictures?'" What indeed? (All ages)