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The Best Illustrations Of Alice In Wonderland At 150 Years Old

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The Alice in Wonderland exhibition opens at the British Library to mark the 150th anniversary of the book’s publication. It features first illustrations by John Tenniel, and an entry from Carroll’s diary detailing the “golden afternoon” on 4 July 1862 when as Charles Dodgson he told his story to the three daughters of Carroll’s good friend Harry Liddell — Edith (8), Alice (10), and Lorina (13).

 

1858: Alice Liddell (1852 - 1934), the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's fictional character Alice in 'Alice in Wonderland'. She is posing as 'The Beggar-Maid.' (Photo by Lewis Carroll/Getty Images)

1858: Alice Liddell (1852 – 1934), the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s fictional character Alice in ‘Alice in Wonderland’. She is posing as ‘The Beggar-Maid.’ (Photo by Lewis Carroll/Getty Images)

 

The exhibition explores the different ways in which generations of illustrators, artists, musicians, filmmakers and designers have interpreted the story and characters over the past 150 years.

New illustrated editions of the story often mirror the period in which they were created, from Mabel Lucie Attwell’s endearingly rosy-cheeked Alice of 1910 and Charles Robinson’s art nouveau style, to Salvador Dalí’s surrealist lithographs inspired by Carroll’s story and Mervyn Pearke’s darker vision of Wonderland born out of his experiences during the Second World War.

We’ve compiled some of what we think are the best illustrations of the great work of fiction.

The Wonderland postage stamp case designed by Lewis Carroll (1889-1890) (c) The British Library Board

The Wonderland postage stamp case designed by Lewis Carroll (1889-1890) (c) The British Library Board

 

Entry from Lewis Carroll's 1862-64 diary, in which he records that he first told the fairytale of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground to Alice Liddell & her sisters (c) British Library

Entry from Lewis Carroll’s 1862-64 diary, in which he records that he first told the fairytale of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground to Alice Liddell & her sisters (c) British Library

 

An illustration of Alice with the Red Queen from an illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Robinson (1907) (c) The British Library Board - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/press-releases/2015/november/alice-in-wonderland-exhibition-opens-at-the-british-library-to-mark-150th-anniversary-of-publication?

An illustration of Alice with the Red Queen from an illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Robinson (1907) (c) The British Library Board

 

Illustrated music cover of ‘The Wonderland Quadrilles…for Pianoforte’ composed by Charles Marriott in 1872, showing scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (c) British Library

Illustrated music cover of ‘The Wonderland Quadrilles…for Pianoforte’ composed by Charles Marriott in 1872, showing scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (c) British Library

 

All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretence
Our wanderings to guide.

Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour,
Beneath such dreamy weather,
To beg a tale of breath too weak
To stir the tiniest feather!
Yet what can one poor voice avail
Against three tongues together?

Imperious Prima flashes forth
Her edict to “begin it”:
In gentler tones Secunda hopes
“There will be nonsense in it!”
While Tertia interrupts the tale
Not more than once a minute.

Anon, to sudden silence won,
In fancy they pursue
The dream-child moving through a land
Of wonders wild and new,
In friendly chat with bird or beast —
And half believe it true.

And ever, as the story drained
The wells of fancy dry,
And faintly strove that weary one
To put the subject by,
“The rest next time—” “It is next time!”
The happy voices cry.

Thus grew the tale of Wonderland:
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were hammered out—
And now the tale is done,
And home we steer, a merry crew,
Beneath the setting sun.

Alice! A childish story take,
And with a gentle hand,
Lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined
In Memory’s mystic band,
Like pilgrim’s wither’d wreath of flowers
Pluck’d in far-off land.

 

An illustration of Alice with the White Rabbit from an illustrated edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Leonard Weisgard (1949) © The Estate of Leonard Weisgard - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/press-releases/2015/november/alice-in-wonderland-e

An illustration of Alice with the White Rabbit from an illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Leonard Weisgard (1949) © The Estate of Leonard Weisgard

 

Alices Adventures - Lewis Carroll

Alices Adventures – Lewis Carroll

 

The model for Disney's animated version - read the story here

The model for Disney’s animated version – read the story here

 

 

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland Illustrated by Ralph Steadman

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland Illustrated by Ralph Steadman 1973

 

Illustration of Alice from the Arthur Rackham illustrated edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1907) (c) The British Library Board

Illustration of Alice from the Arthur Rackham illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1907) (c) The British Library Board

 

Tove Janssen 1956

Tove Janssen 1966

 

Lantern Slides 1920s

Lantern Slides 1920s

 

An illustration of the Cheshire Cat by Helen Oxenbury from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (c) 1999 Helen Oxenbury, reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd

An illustration of the Cheshire Cat by Helen Oxenbury from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (c) 1999 Helen Oxenbury, reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd

 

The 1884 title page of Alice's Wonderland Birthday Book, compiled by E. Stanley Leathes and illustrated by J.P.M. (c) The British Library Board

The 1884 title page of Alice’s Wonderland Birthday Book, compiled by E. Stanley Leathes and illustrated by J.P.M. (c) The British Library Board

 

Title page of the 1910 edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland pictured by Mabel Lucie Attwell © Lucie Attwell Ltd

Title page of the 1910 edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland pictured by Mabel Lucie Attwell © Lucie Attwell Ltd

 

John Vernon Lord 2011

John Vernon Lord 2011

 

A drawing of Alice from Lewis Carroll's manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, written between 1862-64 (c) The British Library Board -

A drawing of Alice from Lewis Carroll’s manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, written between 1862-64 (c) The British Library Board

 

 

1969, Salvador Dalí Mad Hatter's Tea Party

1969, Salvador Dalí Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

 

Sir John Tenniel's illustration of Alice and the Cheshire Cat from the 1866 edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (c) The British Library Board

Sir John Tenniel’s illustration of Alice and the Cheshire Cat from the 1866 edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (c) The British Library Board

 

 2012, Yayoi Kusama

2012, Yayoi Kusama

 

An illustration of Alice at the Hatter's tea party from W.H. Walker’s illustrated edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1907) (c) The British Library Board -

An illustration of Alice at the Hatter’s tea party from W.H. Walker’s illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1907) (c) The British Library Board –

  • TheHappyHarpy

    Capital!

  • Lovely!