A handful of new Alice books, in particular, and the revival of Alice in general, was written about by Craig Wilson in today’s USA Today. They even made an online quiz (pop-culture heavy), How well do you know ‘Alice in Wonderland’? – although I disagreed with a couple of the answers. Here’s the books they plug, ending with a quote by Mark Richards:
•Alice I Have Been: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin (Delacorte, $25), out today. “I saw a photo of Alice Liddell (the model for the Alice character) taken by Charles Dodgson, and it made me realize that this was a lot more than just a children’s story,” says Benjamin, who built her novel around Alice’s life after her childhood fame. “She was unflappable, not a typical Victorian. And she survived it all, just like Alice survived it all in the books. She was never beaten down.”
•The Mystery of Lewis Carroll by Jenny Woolf (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99), out Feb. 2. Woolf sheds more light on the mysterious Dodgson in this new biography, examining everything from his relationship with Alice and her older sister to his controversial photographing of nude young girls. “The more closely Lewis Carroll is studied, the more he seems to slide quietly away,” Woolf writes.
•A new single-volume paperback edition of Carroll’s two classic Alice stories ($8.95). Oxford World’s Classics has reissued Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1872) with a new introduction by Peter Hunt, an expert in children’s literature. Oxford Children’s Classics released a new hardcover of Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland in April ($9.95).
•The Disney movie Alice in Wonderland, combining live action and animation. Alice is now 19, fleeing a proposed marriage and, yes, she follows a white rabbit into a hole, entering Wonderland once again. Depp is the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter plays the Queen of Hearts, and Mia Wasikowska is Alice. Release date: March 5.
Why is it Alice’s time again?
“The timeless appeal of the Alice books lies not only in their wonderfully imaginative qualities but, perhaps more important, in the way they touch our emotions,” says Mark Richards, chairman of the Lewis Carroll Society in London.