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Six Impossible Things with Matt Demakos

February 3, 2024 , 3:00 pm 4:00 pm EST

12:00PM Pacific / 3:00PM Eastern/ 8:00PM UK

Join this webinar on February 3rd.

the white queen from through the looking glass

It’s an LCSNA event with a twist: you get to help choose the program! Join Matt Demakos as he discusses a recent research project involving six short videos on different Carrollian topics, then vote on which videos we’ll watch live! Plus, Alan Tannenbaum talks about the LCSNA YouTube channel. A sneak preview of your choices:

The Carpenter’s Paper Hat: How to Fold and Not to Fold
Several modern-day publications and videos show how the Carpenter would have folded the paper hat that he wears on his head. But how did Victorians really fold it? Watch, and learn a bit of history as well.

Looking-Glass Chess: The Blunders and the Blunderers
Looking-Glass chess is indeed strange and many of the moves the characters make are certainly blunders, that is, bone-headed, or outright mad. But not all is as it seems. Some supposed blunders are, curiously enough, not blunders at all. Watch and see if you can guess which are which? (You do not have to be a chess expert to understand the commentary.)

Alice’s Flight from Looking-Glass Castle: An Alternative Ending Revealed
Did Carroll have another ending in mind for Looking-Glass? According to the analysis presented here—which scrutinizes the chess, Carroll’s own text, and an old lady’s memory—he most certainly did. It also may have been the superior ending. Listen and decide for yourself.

About that Mysterious Prelude in the Alice Operetta
In 1886, Henry Savile Clark and Walter Slaughter’s Alice in Wonderland was performed on the stage. Did a piece of music, regulated to a mere prelude in 1887, once accompany the deleted scene where Alice passes through the Looking-Glass? Listen to the evidence and the music to decide for yourself. (For the first time, the video presents an actual piece of orchestration once heard by Lewis Carroll.)

John Tenniel’s Method: The Jabberwock Explains
The illustration of the Jabberwock is used to explain how John Tenniel created his wood-engraved illustrations for the Alice books. An intentional mistake is made, however, during the course of the discussion. Do you have an observant, sharp, logical enough mind to spot it? We will let you know.

Widener’s Lost Wonderland: An Open Letter to the Current Owner
There are several lost items related to Lewis Carroll that would be as thrill to find, his lost diaries, for example. But there is one that gets little press, namely, a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that once belonged to Joseph E. Widener. It contained forty of Tenniel’s drawings (likely tracings), and several letters regarding the book from Carroll and Tenniel, amongst other things. Will the owner come forward?

About Your Speaker

Matthew Demakos has been writing about the life and works of Lewis Carroll for over twenty years.  His papers include “Hiawatha Annotating,” an in-depth look into Carroll’s poem “Hiawatha’s Photographing”; “Alice’s Adventures from Under Ground to Wonderland,” an exploration into the differences between the two works; “Children through the Ages,” a study into the true ages of Carroll’s so-called “child-friends”; and “The Authentic Wasp,” a look into the authorship of “The Wasp in a Wig” episode.

In a more comic bent, yet serious, Demakos wrote “Alice’s Ups and Downs: A Pedantic Approach to Exactify Ambiguity in Wonderland” and its sequel “Bounding Brooks and Hopping Hedges: Looking-Glass Chess For Beginners.”  The first retells Wonderland with a keen eye on Alice’s ever-changing height, and the second retells Looking-Glass while scrutinizing the chess moves made by the characters.

He has also written on Carroll’s shyness in “Accountably and Unaccountably Shy,” and has two as-yet unpublished annotated versions of Carroll’s poems “The Walrus and the Carpenter” and “A-sitting on a Gate.”

His works on John Tenniel, include:

 · “Once I Was A Real Turtle: Tenniel’s Post-Publication Drawings and Tracings in the Berg Collection” (Knight Letter, Spring  and Fall 2018)

· “Sketch—Trace—Draw: From Tenniel’s Hands to Carroll’s Eyes” (Knight Letter, Spring and Fall 2020

· Cut—Proof—Print: From Tenniel’s Hands to Carroll’s Eyes (a continuation of the above available on the Lewis Carroll Society of North America Website)

· The Tenniel Letters: Concerning His Drawings for Lewis Carroll’s Alice (proposed title for a work ninety-eight percent complete)

· Catalogue of Original Drawings, Tracings and Touched Proofs by Sir John Tenniel Bound in Extra-Illustrated Copies of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass Including Two Frames and Other Various Collections (to be available online)

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