First published in 1865, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland began as a story told to Alice Liddell and her two sisters on a boating trip in July of 1862. The novel follows Alice down a rabbit-hole and into a surreal world of strange and wonderful characters who constantly turn everything upside-down with their mind-boggling logic and word play, and their fantastic parodies. Carroll's fable illustrates his masterful ability to weave logic with nonsense in a tale that continues to delight all ages. While this great classic is widely available, the Broadview edition is unique. Richard Kelly combines Alice's Adventures in Wonderland not with the later (and largely distinct) work Through the Looking Glass but rather with Alice's Adventures Under Ground, Lewis Carroll's first version of the story. Readers are thus able to trace the literary revisions, and to compare Caroll's own illustrations in the original with the famous John Tenniel illustrations for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Among the many other materials included in the Broadview Literary Texts edition are a substantial selection of early reviews, selections from Carroll's diaries and correspondence, Carroll's early nonsense poems, and the originals of the poems parodied in his text.
Source of legend and lyric, reference and conjecture, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
is for most children pure pleasure in prose. While adults try to decipher Lewis Carroll's putative use of complex mathematical codes in the text, or debate his alleged use of opium, young readers simply dive with Alice through the rabbit hole, pursuing "The dream-child moving through a land / Of wonders wild and new." There they encounter the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, the Mock Turtle, and the Mad Hatter, among a multitude of other characters--extinct, fantastical, and commonplace creatures. Alice journeys through this Wonderland, trying to fathom the meaning of her strange experiences. But they turn out to be "curiouser and curiouser," seemingly without moral or sense.
For more than 130 years, children have reveled in the delightfully non-moralistic, non-educational virtues of this classic. In fact, at every turn, Alice's new companions scoff at her traditional education. The Mock Turtle, for example, remarks that he took the "regular course" in school: Reeling, Writhing, and branches of Arithmetic-Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision. Carroll believed John Tenniel's illustrations were as important as his text. Naturally, Carroll's instincts were good; the masterful drawings are inextricably tied to the well-loved story. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter