I bet if we all pooled our money we could buy this as our official residence and meeting place. Ah well, I can dream can’t I? Click me to see some actually quite nice photographs of the the house. And if any of you Mimsy Minions do in fact buy it, I would love to visit!
It should come as no surprise that the latest in Disney’s Johnny Depp-fueled Alice films is not based on Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. The director speaks.
Audio fans! This just in:
“Life Elsewhere, a radio show from Tampa, FL, interviewed our current president, Mark Burstein, on Carroll’s birthday, January 27. The host, Norman B, was a bit obsessed with the usual canards about Carroll’s alleged fondness for young girls and drug use, which Mark defended to the best of his ability in a rather wide-ranging interview. Mark also begs your indulgence for any minor factual errors or anything else he uttered due to nervousness. The sound bites added afterwards are from the Jonathan Miller production. You can get a podcast or download an .mp3 at http://feeds.feedburner.com/wmnf/life_elsewhere (it’s the first half-hour).”
If you are reading this post, you are likely a Carrollian, and as such, if you know the name Mavis Batey, it is probably because of her books Alice’s Adventures in Oxford (1980), and The World of Alice, published in 1998, the year of the Carroll Centenary at Christ Church College, Oxford.
We regret to report that Mrs. Batey passed away on November 12th at the age of 92. She was a brilliant and gracious person, and will be missed by many. But her publications about Alice, and English gardens, are not her only legacy. In her youth, she was a key part of the British government’s secret Bletchley Park code breaking team during World War II, and made a number of significant contributions to crucial code breaking efforts (including deciphering the first message from one of the infamous German “Enigma” machines) that helped turn the tide in the war.
To read more about Mrs. Batey’s contributions while at Bletchley Park in the Washington Post, click me.
To read an obituary in The Telegraph with more details about her work at Bletchley, 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 reports the release of a new (and free) 60-minute audio adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by a Canadian collective known as Voices in the Wind. After a quick listen to parts, I can tell you that the adaptation is quite loose (and Alice does not have a British accent). There is also at least one Disney-esque musical number.
Click me to read an article about the recording.
Click me to go directly to Voices in the Wind’s web site.
Singer Una Healy of the band “The Saturdays” has partnered with the Disney Channel’s Club Penguin for a new anti-bullying ad campaign “It Starts With You,” promoting safer surfing and constructive communal behavior online.
In the ad, Ms. Healy poses as Alice, falling into an unknown digital Wonderland. Kudos to Disney and to Ms. Healy for doing their part for a very worthy cause.
To read more about the campaign and to see interviews, click me.
What’s the next best thing to unexpectedly inheriting first editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass? A public institution near you receiving them in an anonymous donation, that’s what. Which is good news for Carrollians in Utah as last week just such a bequest was made to the Marriott Library at the University of Utah. The value of the two books is estimated at $30,000. Read more here, or visit the books in person in the George S. Eccles Special Collections Reading Room on level 4 of the J. Willard Marriott Library, 295 S 1500 E, Salt Lake City. Visitors are welcome.
A lost mural of Alice in Wonderland and the archaeologist determined to bring it to light were the subjects of an interesting tale told by San Diego public radio station, KPBS, yesterday.
Seth Mallios, head of the anthropology department at SDSU, had been hunting down murals, once common all over campus, when he heard about the Alice mural from Evelyn Kooperman, a retired librarian.
When she was a little girl in the 1950s, her mother used to take her to see two murals tucked away in Hardy Tower. One featured the character of Odysseus. The other, was the “Alice in Wonderland” mural. “I just thought they were wonderful,” says Kooperman. “They were big and bright and colorful. And I just loved them and every year I would say to my mother, ‘I want to go see Alice! I want to go see Alice!’”
Read about Mallios’s discovery of the mural, and of the artist who painted it, on the KPBS website. You can also see an old photograph of the mural and listen to the original radio broadcast.
The expedition ship Discovery in the Antarctic bearing the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901–04, and two book by Lewis Carroll
We like to celebrate the fact that the Alice books have been enjoyed all over the world, but did you know that includes Antarctica? Last week, in a story reported by the UK national paper the Telegraph, we learned the interesting and quite touching fact that “Britain’s toughest explorers, who took part in Scott’s gruelling three-year journey to discover the Antarctic, whiled away the freezing dark nights by reading children’s story Alice in Wonderland…” (Read the story in full here.)
Well-travelled Alice books, Bonham’s Auction 19952, Lot 63
The books formed part of the library on board the Discovery, the ship that carried Captain Scott’s successful expedition to the Antarctic regions between 1901 and 1904. These travel-stained copies of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, which once sat among more likely-sounding titles such as Sir Walter Raleigh’s Discovery of Guiana and Marco Polo’s Voyages and Travels, are to be auctioned by Bonham’s in their Polar II Sale, December 4, with an estimated price of $3,200 – $6,400.