Our mimsy Knight Letter magazine editor has alerted me that Adam Roberts, a Professor of Nineteenth Century Literature at Royal Holloway University of London, is teaching a new course on Children’s Literature. Currently Roberts is examining the Alice books with his students, presumably with his binoculars facing the correct way. He has begun posting his theories and musings about the two books on his blog. He also teases out a few entertaining ideas for a sequel of his own.
The link I’m providing sorts his blog posts by “Alice” so you should read from the bottom of the page up, if you wish to explore his thoughts in chronological order.
To read these Carrollian posts, click me.
Professor Roberts also teaches Creative Writing, and is the author of several science fiction novels, among other things. To read more about him, click me.
Attention all Mimsy Minions and especially literary art lovers! To help celebrate the release of their second gorgeous “Alice” image, the good folks at Litographs.com have graciously extended to you, our Blog readers, an exclusive offer of 15% off your purchases at their site for the month of November. This discount actually applies to all their merchandise for November only, and will not be made available in our magazine or anywhere else (which is pretty much the definition of exclusive, after all). Right now, they are also offering free US domestic shipping on orders of $48 or more.
If you’re not already familiar with Litographs, they create wonderful literary-themed images composed of the texts of famous books. If you visit their site, and view either of the Alice images full size, you’ll see all the words of Wonderland! Their first Alice image (still available) is one of Alice falling down the rabbit hole. For each image, they offer posters, tote bags, and T-shirts (be sure to read the “What to Expect” section on the T-shirts; they are hand-printed).
Litographs also shares the LCSNA’s goal of promoting literacy and enjoyment of great literature. They partner with International Book Bank, and send a high-quality book to schools and libraries in developing countries for each product sold. Since 2011, they have helped send over 20,000 books! So, you’re shopping for yourself, and for a good cause.
How do you take advantage of this lovely offer from these lovely people? Simply enter the code CARROLLBLOG at checkout anytime during the month of November, and 15% will be deducted from your product total. It sounds like a brillig gift idea for the upcoming holiday season.
Our thanks to Corey Fein at Litographs.com for extending this delightful exclusive offer. Remember that it is good only for the month of November!
According to The Oxford Times online, some enterprising Oxford College graduates have devised a new board game (how suitably retro!) called Dreaming Spires, in which players can create their own Oxford College–starting back in 1189 and moving forward in time from there. Characters include Oscar Wilde, JRR Tolkien, and of course, our own Lewis Carroll.
To read more about this new treat, including a downloadable try-before-you-buy version, click me.
In case (like me) you weren’t able to attend the LCSNA’s by-all-accounts-fabulous Fall meeting in Los Angeles, host USC’s campus newspaper the Daily Trojan offers a helpful recap, although alas with some errors and omissions–the most egregious being that the names George and Linda Cassady, and also Daniel Singer, should have been front and center along with talented artist Karen Mortillaro. In addition to partnering with Karen and Daniel on planning the entire event, the Cassadys offered a private tour of their awe-inspiring Carroll collection at USC that has attendees still buzzing. They are also the driving force behind the Wonderland Award mentioned in the article. And just as Karen welcomed members for a private look at her studio, Daniel Singer kindly opened his home to members for a viewing of his own substantial Carrollian collection, as well. Our thanks once again to all who contributed to making this meeting so extraordinary, both the wonderful speakers on the podium (real and virtually) and those working behind the scenes to make the magic happen. By all accounts, it was a weekend that all attendees marked with a white stone.
To read about it in the Daily Trojan, click me!
Curiouser and curiouser. Even if you don’t follow the gossip columns, or go to the movies, chances are you’ve heard of talented actress Kristen Stewart, star of the megahit Twilight film franchise, as well as Snow White and the Huntsman, among others. Perhaps that second title should have given us all a hint; it turns out that Ms. Stewart grew up in a fairytale, Wonderland-themed home, complete with a giant chess board by the pool, and several Alice-themed murals. The home is now on the market due to her parents’ pending divorce; if you have $1.75 Million, you can snap it up for yourself!
To view pictures of the property, click me.
One of our mimsy minions has shared a link to an interesting blog post that discusses the concept of Lewis Carroll as an Art Director–after all, he certainly oversaw all aspects of the publishing of the two Alice books. The post also provides links to three related Pinterest boards.
To read all about it, click me.
Karen Mortillaro: The White Rabbit
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, remember that this weekend is the LCSNA’s semi-annual meeting. Our meetings are always free and open to the public, and we have a great roster of speakers and events. Join us!
Visit our Events page for the details.
The Volcano Theatre Company is presenting an all-female, avant-garde production of Alice in Wonderland at various locations in Britain through November 23rd. For more information about the show, click me.
And here’s a look at their rehearsal process, including a few words from the production’s director, who opines that (ahem) the original book isn’t really read that much anymore…! (TIP: If the video doesn’t load below, try refreshing this page.)
If you’re into all things Alice, and cooking as well, you might enjoy reading this write-up about an out-of-print but amusing Alice-themed cookbook.
In addition to eccentric recipes, the book is liberally “peppered” (sorry, I couldn’t resist) with quotes from two of Lewis Carroll’s works: Feeding the Mind, and Hints for Etiquette, or Dining Out Made Easy. Here’s a sample of the seasoned and sage (sorry, this is just too easy) advice:
“To use a fork with your soup, intimating at the same time to your hostess that you are reserving the spoon for beefsteaks, is a practice wholly exploded.”
Memory lane is strewn with many curious things, including Wonderland-themed musical numbers from various television shows. Here, in Episode 506 of The Muppet Show, a young and charming Brooke Shields (whose singing has improved significantly since this very early effort) plays the role of Alice in a musical number about her trip down the rabbit hole, appropriately titled “Falling.”
All sorts of odd Jim Henson creatures float by Alice as she falls. Doctor Teeth’s head is on the Cheshire Cat’s body, and he gets to sing the best lyrical zinger, one that pretty much sums up most Alice adaptations. Listen for it!
Thanks to one of our mimsy minions for sending along the link to this amusing vintage clip. (If the video doesn’t show below, try refreshing this page.)