Carroll's classic stories reunited with Peake's celebrated illustrations, restored for the first time to their original glory.
In the 1940s, Gormenghast trilogy author Mervyn Peake was commissioned to produce a series of seventy pen-and-ink drawings to accompany Lewis Carroll's two classics, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Previously admired for his illustrations of Treasure Island and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Peake set to work, producing such luminous, eccentric images that Graham Greene would later refer to him as 'the first artist since Tenniel to recast Alice in a contemporary mould.'
In these editions, Peake's marvelous illustrations, many of them originally drawn on poor quality wartime paper, have been meticulously reproduced as they were meant to be seen. Thanks to a combination of old-fashioned craft and cutting-edge computer technology, the delightful images shine for the first time in over two decades alongside Carroll's fantastically eccentric text. With introductions by modern literary masters Will Self and Zadie Smith, these beautifully designed and printed books are the perfect gift for adults and children alike.
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