The Blog of the LCSNA

Far-Flung Knight

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The Blog of the LCSNA

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.


Alice in Hogwarts Land

London’s Miraphora Mina and Rio de Janeiro’s Eduardo Lima started working together in 2002 to imagine and create the graphic universe of the Harry Potter™ film series. In 2009 they formed their own design studio, MinaLima™, “with the objective of creating distinctive and unconventional design and illustration for the entertainment and publishing industries,” and have gone on to great success.

They also conceived and illustrated the bestselling MinaLima™ Classics series for HarperCollins, currently at six titles, including a recently released Wonderland/Looking-Glass with interactive elements. Signed copies are available from them here, or trade editions at any bookstore. One can also buy prints (and get a look at their illustrations) here.


Van Sandwyk!

In KL 97:54, we reviewed an Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk and bemoaned the fact that The Folio Society published it only in a deluxe limited edition selling for $865 (2016). The review concluded with a quote from their marketing manager, who said, “As yet we have no plans for a trade edition, but it is not impossible that we would publish [one] in the fullness of time.” Time has, evidently, become full, as their new catalog now lists a trade edition for $70!


Unchained Melanie

The enormously popular American singer-songwriter, actress, and director Melanie Martinez (b. 1995) is somewhat sui generis; The Guardian describes her music as “off-kilter, sweary electropop.” Her debut studio album, Cry Baby (2015), which went on to be certified platinum, contains a song called “Mad Hatter,” obviously based on the two Disney movies (1951, 2010) rather than the book. She created two videos for the song, one comparatively tame, the other a rather edgy take, which one of our members describes as “Murderous Teletubbies meet Alice in Pinkland.” At this writing, it’s had 62 million views.