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.
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.
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.”
Attention iPad owners! If you’re looking for an Alice book designed just for you, the creators of Alicewinks have taken a host of vintage illustrated versions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and have cleverly merged and animated the images. The result is a charming and slightly surreal illustrated version of the classic book.
Given the technical complexity of the project, and the large file size, Alicewinks is only available currently as in iBook, intended for enjoyment on the Apple iPad. It is available for $9.99 in the iBooks store, but from October 14-18 ONLY, the Alicewinks edition will be available as a free download from iBooks (iPad) or iTunes (computer). They are also running a competition for the best review of their edition; the winner will receive an iPad and $100 iTunes credit.
If you have any questions or download issues, please contact the folks at Alicewinks directly. For more information, please visit the Alicewinks website.
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 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.
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.