Through the Looking Glass (issue 2)
The Newsletter for BONKERS Alice in Wonderland Fans
Bonkers offers and mad ideas and unique products. Join us in our quest to become the best provider of Alice in Wonderland inspired products.
If you're bonkers you've come to the right place.
Our online Etsy store continues to grow. We've taken the decision to offer very low coast or even free shipping to UK customers and to those in the USA we offer standard Royal Mail delivery which means it will make it to the USA in 5-7 day where the US postal service will pick it up an take it to yout home.
if you do purchase through our store we would very much welcome a review as with the store being still fairly new reviews are very important to us.
NEW Greeting Card launch - After producing a range of greeting cards you can now order a bespoke version. Choose your character then choose your popular saying. Only £3.49 with FREE UK postage and low cost USA posting.
SHOP FOR THIS ITEM HERE >>.
Exclusive news only for subscribers - We have very quietly and without telling anyone created an Animae and Aurora Moon Alice greeting cards. The two new cards are the latest editions to our exclusive range. If you want one of these cards nclik on these direct links.
Exclusive subscriber only offer - If you would like ANY of our cards with ANY SAYING/MESSAGE you want it's yours and you only pay the stanard £2.99. Just message us for more info.
WORKSHOP VIDEO - We had promised a short tour of the workshop but as you can see from the image above it's been a bit snowy around here lately and so we haven't had much of a chance to get the camera out and show you around. Promise it will happen for next issue.
12 Interesting Things About Alice in Wonderland
When Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland came out in 1865, it was a blockbuster success. The book is widely credited with changing the landscape of children’s literature.
1. The real Alice was the daughter of Carroll’s boss - The real Alice, who lent her name to the story, was the daughter of Henry Liddell, the dean of Christ Church College at Oxford, where Carroll taught mathematics.
2. The Mad Hatter never would have existed without the persistence of children - When Carroll began telling a fantastic tale to Alice Liddell and her two sisters on a summer 1862 boating trip up the Thames, he didn’t plan on becoming a children’s author. But just like your niece who won’t stop begging to watch Frozen again, the kids wouldn’t stop asking him to tell the story—Carroll wrote about having to retell “the interminable Alice’s adventures” in his diary. He eventually turned it into a written novel, presenting it to Alice as an early Christmas gift in 1864. By the time he self-published the final version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, it had doubled in length, with new scenes including those with the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat.
3. The original illustrator hated the first edition - English illustrator John Tenniel created the art for the story. When he saw an early copy of the book, Tenniel was so dismayed at how badly his drawings had been reproduced, Carroll scrapped the entire edition, spending more than half his annual salary to get it reprinted and leaving him in a financial hole before the book even came out.
4. It was first made into a movie in 1903 - Only a handful of years after Carroll died, directors Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stowe made the story into a 12-minute film. At the turn of the century, that made it the longest film produced in Britain. Hepworth himself played the Frog Footman, while his wife was cast as the White Rabbit and the Queen view that film here.
5. Carroll almost called it “Alice’s Hour in Elfland.” - Writing in his diary of the afternoon boating trip that inspired Carroll to come up with a story for young Alice Liddell, he tried out a few different titles for his novel. The original tale presented to the 10-year-old Liddell was called “Alice’s Adventures Underground,” but upon publication, Carroll decided he might call it Alice’s Hour in Elfland.
6. It satirizes newfangled theories about math - Scholars have theorized that Carroll’s day job made its way into the book in the form of satire about 19th century innovations in mathematics, like imaginary numbers. For instance, the riddles like the one the Mad Hatter asks Alice about a raven being like a writing desk, “were a reflection on the increasing abstraction that was going on in mathematics in the 19th century,”
7. The original illustrations were carved into wood - Tenniel was a renowned illustrator by the time he took on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, known for his political cartoons. His drawings were first made on paper, then carved on woodblocks by engravers, which were then made into metal electrotype reproductions to be used in the printing process.
8. Wonderland wouldn’t have seemed so absurd to the real Alice - Some of the things that seem like nonsense to us would have made total sense to Alice and her sisters. When the Mock Turtle says in the book that he receives lessons in drawing, sketching, and “fainting in coils” from an “old conger-eel, that used to come once a week,” the Liddells would have recognized their own art tutor, who gave the girls lessons in sketching, drawing, and oil painting. Much of the “nonsense” from the book was “based on people and places and experiences that these very real children had and would have been familiar with.
9. The Dodo is based on Carroll - In the book, Carroll alludes to the 1862 boating trip that inspired the story by putting those present (Alice, her sisters, and Carroll's colleague) in the story as birds. Carroll was the Dodo, named after his real name, Charles Dodgson. As one story goes, the author had a tendency to stammer, introducing himself as “Do-do-dogson.” His sometimes debilitating stutter prevented him from becoming a priest, leading him to mathematics and writing instead.
10. The original manuscript almost never leaves London - For its latest exhibition, New York City’s Morgan Library managed to get a hold of Carroll’s original manuscript of “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground”—the hand-written and illustrated version he gave to Alice Liddell. The book belongs to the British Library, and it rarely gets a vacation abroad.
11. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was a pioneer of brand licensing - Carroll was a savvy marketer of his story and characters. That’s perhaps the main reason the story is so well known today, even for those who haven’t actually read the book. “He’s one of the first authors working with manufacturers to bring out related products, He designed a postage stamp case decorated with images of Alice and allowed her image to adorn cookie tins and other products.
12. The book has never been out of print - It has been translated into 176 languages. Its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, sold out within seven weeks of its publication.