Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


Lewis Carroll. Tenniel, John.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1866. (BRA0834)

The Ruth and Lyle Sellers Medical Collection.

This literary classic was based on the fantastical stories with which Oxford mathematician the Rev. Charles Dodgson (1832–1898) enchanted ten-year-old Alice Liddell while rowing up the Thames River on July 4, 1862. Dodgson and the illustrator Sir John Tenniel (1820–1914) had the initial Macmillan edition of two thousand copies recalled in July 1865 due to faulty reproductions. Although approximately fifty copies were kept privately, the remaining books from the first printing were sold to Appleton to be bound with new title pages in the New York 1866 edition. Dr. Sellers’s Alice’s Adventures has the replaced title page and is bound in the original gilt-stamped red cloth. (Eric White, PhD.)

Carroll, Lewis.
Dalí, Salvador.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
New York: Maecenas Press, 1969. (12093)

2500 portfolios, numbered 1 to 2500, were printed on Mandeure paper, this is no. 2488.

As in the first American edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this copy illustrated by Salvador Dalí (1904–1989), includes the shaped or patterned poetry mimicking an aspect of the subject matter, in this case the mouse’s tail. Complementing the text are Dalí’s hyper-saturated, fantastical, and dreamlike Surrealist images and mark-making including the mouse’s tail in a similar shape as the text. Alice is portrayed in the periphery as a black silhouette jumping rope. Other imagery is of Dinah, Alice’s cat, looking menacing and stalking a bird, and a snake with a long tail (tale). Dalí’s often shapeless, bizarre, and frightening imagery is an excellent match for Carroll’s fantasy classic.

Salvador Dalí’s technical, yet highly unusual paintings, his sculptures, and explorations in film and interactive art are as appealing and influential today as during his lifetime. He is associated with Surrealism and major themes in his work include the subconscious, sexuality, religion, and science. There are two museums devoted to his work, the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Spain and the Salvador Dalí Museum in Florida.

© 2021 Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Artists Rights Society

Jeffers, Oliver.
Winston, Sam.
A Child of Books.
London, England: Arc Artists Editions: [2016]. (BRF0441)

From Sam Winston (b. 1978): “A Child of Books is about a little girl who sails her raft 'across a sea of words' to arrive at the house of a small boy. There she invites him to come away with her on an adventure where they can journey through 'forests of fairy tales', 'across mountains of make-believe' and 'sleep in clouds of song'.” The story begins, “I am a child of books. I come from a world of stories.”

During their adventure, the children journey to the “The Mouse’s Tale” within Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The face of the boy shows apprehension and is encouraged by the little girl: “But along these words, I can show you the way.” In this way, the words become their adventure, looking down and climbing up the text. The charming images by Oliver Jeffers (b. 1977) and typographical landscapes by Sam Winston enhance this excerpt from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and the combination results in a delightful and imaginative reading experience.

A Child of Books won the Bologna Ragazzi Award for fiction in 2017 and has been published world-wide. Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston’s use of watercolor, pencil, and digital collage used in unexpected ways (as text for Rapunzel’s hair in one story) are ingenious. Sam Winston uses language and text as a visual form in and of itself. He creates artist’s books as well as engaging in drawing, performance, and poetry. Oliver Jeffers is a visual artist and author working in painting, bookmaking, illustration, collage, performance, and sculpture. The two artists first met while Winston was working on his book, Orphan. Jeffers and Winston use the idea of “finding a new story from within other stories” in Orphan and carried over the concept into A Child of Books.

BRF0441-AChildofBooks-Butalongthis way-Winston-Jeffers-mainopening.png

Jeffers, Oliver. Winston, Sam. A Child of Books. London, England: Arc Artists Editions: [2016]. (BRF0441)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland