If you are a member of the LCSNA, any day now you should be receiving our latest free, members-only bonus treat: a lovely hardcover facsimile of the 1879 first Russian edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, titled Sonja in a Kingdom of Wonder. This special edition includes a foreword by current LCSNA President Mark Burstein, and an introduction by Russian scholar Nina Demurova. While we can’t promise to produce a members-only treat like this every year, we certainly try, and this year’s bonus, produced in collaboration with Evertype, is a charming addition to any Carrollian’s collection. In addition, prior to this publication, there were only two known copies in the world.
If you’re (gasp) not already a member of our society–now is the perfect time to join, and claim your own copy of this special treat. Visit our Membership page for all the details and to sign up today!
One of our West Coast mimsy minions spotted this one: a list of 10 really neat miniature books, including a classic flip-book featuring the Cheshire Cat. To view all of these tiny delights, including a complete set of Shakespeare’s plays, click me.
One of our mimsy minions has shared this link from the Jewish Daily Forward. It is a review of a new book by Madelyn Travis entitled Jews and Jewishness in British Children’s Literature. The reviewer notes that while Lewis Carroll comes off well in the book, other well-known authors do not. To read the review, click me.
Another mimsy minion reports:
Yayoi Kusama’s Illustrations for Alice In Wonderland have now appeared in Japan, in a new translation by LCSNA member Kimie Kusumoto. Kimie has already translated Alice once before, for an edition illustrated by British artist Brian Partridge. Kimie explains, ” I translated this time using a different style of Japanese than for Brian’s Alice book. Brian’s Alice was so cute and characters were drawn rather comically, so I tried to translate it in a tone that will fit for young girls. For Kusama’s, I tried to choose a rather ‘dry’ tone and tried not to be explanatory, though I am not sure how much I fulfilled what I planned. There are also intentions of the editors, you know? For instance, I wanted to keep mile or foot or inch as they were, but the publisher asked me to change them to metric system as Japanese people use them normally.“
The English edition bearing Kusama’s illustrations was published in 2012, and is still available on Amazon.com and other resellers.
Our congratulations to Kimie on this new publication!
Addendum: Inconvenient People author Sarah Wise (see prior post) has kindly shared with us the dates of two more blog posts from her web site that reference Uncle Skeffington Lutwidge: May 19, 2013 and June 27, 2013.
To visit Ms. Wise’s site, click me.
This just in courtesy of our mad mimsy minions:
“A recent book, Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty, and the Mad-Doctors in England by Sarah Wise (Counterpoint, 2013) discusses twelve cases of contested insanity in Victorian England and the associated alienists, Lunacy Acts, and criminally louche asylums.
In reviewing the book on August 23rd, a reviewer for the Wall Street Journal says that the Lunacy Commission’s first secretary, Robert Skeffington Lutwidge, was accompanied by his nephew, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll), on visits to asylums, which “adds a dimension to the psychotic overtones” of Wonderland and Looking-Glass, and that coded references to “Uncle Skeffington’s” murder by an inmate can be found in the Snark.
There are a few problems with the WSJ review, starting with the fact that, as Edward Wakeling reminds us, CLD never went to visit an asylum in his uncle’s company. As to the interpretations of the Snark, they are legion, though Carroll had the last word: “I’m very much afraid I didn’t mean anything but nonsense!” (letter to the Lowrie children, 18 August, 1884). This particular Skeffingtonian interpretation, posited by E. Fuller Torrey, MD, and Judy Miller, authors of The Invisible Plague: The Rise of Mental Illness from 1750 to the Present (Rutgers University Press, 2002), was duly cited by Ms. Wise in her book, and was printed as “The Capture of the Snark” in Knight Letter 73 p. 21.
“Psychotic overtones”? Humph.”
Our thanks to Ms. Wise for alerting us that the inaccuracies stem from the WSJ review, and not from her book! Ms. Wise notes that in fact she researched the question of Mr. Dodgson’s accompanying his uncle extensively, but like Wakeling, found no evidence that he ever joined on one of those trips.
This just in from one of our well-traveled mimsy minions:
Netherlands literary critic Carel Peeters has written, in Dutch of course, a fine series of essays, Het wonderland van Lewis Carroll, dealing with “seventeen sides of Carroll’s personality in his life and work.” You can find out more at:
And you can order a copy from email@example.com.
We mentioned this book’s Facebook page in a prior post, but here is more information on Alice’s Bloody Adventures in Wonderland, courtesy of one of our Mimsy Minions:
A “demented modern interpretation” of Wonderland, with text by Raul Alberto Contreras and illustrations by Los Angeles-based street artist Tweedle Guns, is upon us. “The White Rabbit has brutally slaughtered Alice’s sister and cat, sending her on a vengeance quest down the rabbit hole, where she finds herself in a series of physical and mental traps, driving her into the heart of darkness that lies deep within Wonderland.” You can order it online here, or if you’re planning to attend our Los Angeles gathering in November you can buy a signed copy from the author there.
As you may have noted by reading some of our prior blog posts, a number of our LCSNA members are authors. Member Deborah J. Lightfoot writes to tell us that her Waterspell fantasy trilogy has distinct Carollian elements–including clever use of a copy of Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There within the storyline.
If you’re a fan of fantasy fiction, you might want to check out this series, which is now also available in eBook format. Her site also include a blog detailing how she want about writing and then publishing the series. To learn more, click me.
One of our Mimsy Minions has noted that it might be worth reminding you, dear reader, that the novels of Jasper Fforde, particularly his Thursday Next series, are not only good reading, they’re peppered with more Lewis Carroll references than even the Cook and the Duchess combined could sneeze at. If you’re looking for a Carroll-flavored summer read, you might try starting the Thursday Next series. You can view a list of titles from Amazon here.
You can also find a lot of entertaining related materials on this page of Fforde’s own web site. (His site is pretty entertaining to explore, regardless of your particular interests. His are wide-ranging, and his humor is infectious.)