Lewis Carroll As Victorian Art Director

Carroll Raven Writing DeskOne 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.

Nonsensical Advice From An Old Alice Cookbook

alicecookbookIf 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.”

Download the Alicewinks iBook FREE from October 14-18 Only!

Alice at Croquet GroundsAttention 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.


New LCSNA Members-Only Book Bonus Is In The Mail!

Sonja Wonder CoverIf 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!

Free One-Hour Audio Adaptation of Alice in Wonderland

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.

Cheshire Cat Appears on List of 10 Desirable Minature Books

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.

New Book Seeks Non-Stereotypical Jewish Characters in Children’s Literature

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.

New Japanese Translation of Wonderland with Yayoi Kusama Illustrations

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!

More on Madness and Uncle Skeffington Lutwidge

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.

We’re All Mad Here

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.