The Blog of the LCSNA

Far-Flung Knight

Jett Jackson: Stuck in Wonderland

Welcome to the LCSNA’s blog, where you can read regular updates about Lewis Carroll’s influence on all aspects of life.  Please keep in mind that these posts are informational only; we do not endorse any link, statement or product cited below unless we specifically state that within the post. Also, the bloggers do not speak for the LCSNA as a whole. We hope you’ll visit often to review the posts and add comments.

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The Blog of the LCSNA

Oleg Lipchenko’s Looking-Glass!

In 2009, Oleg’s fabulous illustrations to Wonderland were awarded the annual IBBY Canada Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, which honors outstanding artistic talent in Canadian picture books. His 2012 Snark is also a treasure. And now he’s ready to go with his Looking-Glass! Look here.

In order to achieve this, he has initiated a Kickstarter campaign. You can buy (prices are in CA$, about 70% of US$): a set of Unbirthday cards ($20), playing cards ($25), postcards ($50), prints of chapters ($50 and up), prints ($80-$120), the Limited edition of the book ($350 and up), even original art ($500).


Spring Meeting Canceled

Dear Members and Friends of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America.
As you are aware, organizations and institutions are canceling public gatherings as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. This is to inform you that the LCSNA 2020 Spring Meeting in Cleveland, OH will not be held on the originally scheduled dates of May 8-10, but is rescheduled to Saturday, Oct 3 -Sunday October 4 [with the Schaefer Memorial Reading on Friday, Oct 2], and will still be hosted at Case Western Reserve University. Please continue to check the website for additional updates about the LCSNA meeting as we move closer to the new date.

During this period of uncertainty, we look forward to a time where it is safe for us to travel and meet.

I want to thank the Board of Directors, Arnold Hirshon (Vice Provost and University Librarian at Case Western Reserve University and host of the Spring [now Fall] 2020 meeting), and E. Haven Hawley (Chair, Department of Special & Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida and host of the LCSNA 2020 Fall meeting [now postponed to Fall 2021] for working together on the LCSNA meeting schedule. I was uplifted by Dr. Hawley’s statement when discussing the future meetings she wrote: “Our partnership now is as part of support for the larger society through postponement.”

If you have questions, please send an email to

We wish good health to all.

Linda Cassady, President and the Board of Directors
Lewis Carroll Society of North America

Thank you to Oleg Lipchenko for the illustration!


North America’s First PhD in Publishing

Dr. Amanda Lastoria of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia has earned North America’s first PhD in Publishing. Her thesis, “The material evolution of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: How book design and production values impact the markets for and the meanings of the text,” can be accessed here. A version of one chapter, “Lewis Carroll, Art Director: Recovering the Design and Production Rationales for Victorian Editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” was published by the journal Book History (vol. 19, 2019). It is likely to be published in book form.

Attendees at our spring 2017 meeting in San Francisco will remember her fascinating talk, “Art Directing Alice: Recovering Carroll’s Creative Process.” Congratulations, Amanda!


In a Strangeling Land

Artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith’s take on Alice tends towards the large-eyed, Betty Boop-slash-“kawaii” (cuteness) style of Japanese manga and anime, but with her own brightly colored, somewhat kitschy slant. On her site, Strangeling (and its related Etsy store), one can find her series “Alice in Other Lands,” which features Alice as if painted by Bosch, Velázquez, Brueghel, da Vinci, Dalí, Fragonard, Bouguereau, and others. Related “merch” is in the form of a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, a pocket diary, a coloring book, enamel pins, vinyl dolls, canvas prints, handbags, a diary, etc.


It’s the REAL Bicen-Tenniel!!

Scooped! For several weeks, Matt Demakos and I have been planning to post this today, but it seems the Google Doodle folks have scooped us. Since they have a (marginally) wider readership, we are delighted. Meanwhile, here is the original post:

Happy Two Hundredth Birthday to Sir John Tenniel (February 28 , 1820 – February 25, 1914)! Our featured photo is a rare one of young JT sans mustache, circa 1862.

We know he heard us, for in the letter below, does it not start, “How good of you to remember my poor old birthday?”

Thank you to Matt Demakos for reminding us of this important commemoration and providing an image of that fine letter.


Spring Meeting Announced!

Details of the LCSNA Spring 2020 Meeting to be held in Cleveland on May 8-10 are here, including the meeting schedule, speaker topics and bios, special events, hotels, and a plethora of things to do in Cleveland.

With a stellar line-up of speakers and events, it promises to be most exciting! Meetings are free, and open to the public. Join us!


Under Ground at the Royal Opera House

London’s Royal Opera House will be presenting Gerald Barry’s opera Alice’s Adventures Under Ground February 3–9 , 2020.

Described as “fun, furious, frantic, and utterly fantastic! The surreal world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice, both in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, is given an extra twist in operatic treatment. At less than an hour for the whole opera, this short, sharp shot of mayhem is ideal as a family treat. Antony McDonald directs and designs this new production – the first ever staging of this musically virtuoso opera – with more than a touch of the Victorian toy theatre.”

A concert version of the opera was reviewed in Knight Letter 98 pl. 39.


The Quality of Mercedes Is Not Strained

To demonstrate the new “intelligent voice control” feature of the 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE, their television commercial “Wonderland” begins with an English-accented young lady reading, “‘Curiouser and curiouser,’ said Alice,” then shows a white rabbit in the snow as the car goes into a tunnel (“The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way…”), a shot shows a crescent moon (“… a grin without a cat”), the cup in the cup holder is labeled “Drink Me,” and later the book’s title is displayed on the dashboard console. We’ll forgive the slight misquote (it should be “cried Alice”).


The Art of Bewigged Wasps

Larissa Averbug is a Brazilian graphic designer and researcher in children’s literature, carrying out her PhD at PUC-Rio, Brazil, in the Arts & Design Department, and has been studying Lewis Carroll and Alice since her master’s degree in 2011. She is presently a visiting PhD researcher at Queen Mary University of London, under the supervision of Professor Kiera Vaclavik.

“The Wasp in a Wig Challenge” is part of her PhD research, entitled “The Multiple Faces of Alice: An Irreversible Creative Dynamic. “The intent is to investigate, in practice, the creative thinking of contemporary visual artists from distinct media through a ludic experiment. This creative exercise with the artists takes place as a sort of a game and should embrace interactions among the most engaged artists. The idea is proposing the following challenge: to produce an image, in any media, of the Wasp in a Wig, from the ‘lost’ episode from Through the Looking-Glass. This challenge is now being materialized through mailing letters with an invitation. Depending on the circumstances, this creative exercise could result in an exhibition and a book for collectors.”

If you would be interested in participating, contact Larissa at, and she will send you a formal invitation in the mail.

This challenge has pages on Instagram and Facebook.



A BBC Snark

On January 2 at 9:15 pm (Greenwich Mean Time) BBC Radio 4 Extra rebroadcasted a 45-minute adaptation of “The Hunting of the Snark,” directed by Charlotte Riches, narrated by actor Tony Richardson, and with music and songs composed by Katie Chatburn. First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in December 2015, it is available for online listening for the rest of the month. The last time the BBC did “The Snark” was in December of 1963, with Sir Alec Guinness doing the honors. Although not downloadable, one can record the audio on one’s computer using Audacity or similar software.