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About Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll was born on 27 January 1832. He studied at Christ Church, Oxford and went on to become a mathematics lecturer there from 1855 to 1881. Lewis Carroll's most famous works are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (published in 1865) and the sequel Alice Through the Looking-Glass, which contains the classic nonsense poem The Jabberwocky (published in 1872).
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As a bonus, you will also find a chapter from Through the Looking Glass that was lost for more than 100 years.
Witty, whimsical, and often nonsensical, the fiction of Lewis Carroll has been popular with both children and adults for over 150 years. Canterbury Classics's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland takes readers on a trip down the rabbit hole in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, where height is dynamic, animals talk, and the best solutions to drying off are a dry lecture on William the Conqueror and a Caucus Race in which everyone runs in circles and there is no clear winner.
Through the Looking Glass begins the adventure anew when Alice steps through a mirror into another magical world where she can instantly be made queen if she can only get to the other side of the colossal chessboard.
Complete with the original drawings by John Tenniel, this edition is a steal for new readers and Carroll fans alike.
The culmination of a lifetime of scholarship, The Annotated Alice is a landmark event in the rich history of Lewis Carroll and cause to celebrate the remarkable career of Martin Gardner.
For over half a century, Martin Gardner has established himself as one of the world's leading authorities on Lewis Carroll. His Annotated Alice, first published in 1959, has over half a million copies in print around the world and is beloved by both families and scholars—for it was Gardner who first decoded many of the mathematical riddles and wordplay that lay ingeniously embedded in Carroll's two classic stories, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
Forty years after this groundbreaking publication, Norton is proud to publish the Definitive Edition of The Annotated Alice, a work that combines the notes of Gardner's 1959 edition with his 1990 volume, More Annotated Alice, as well as additional discoveries drawn from Gardner's encyclopedic knowledge of the texts. Illustrated with John Tenniel's classic, beloved art—along with many recently discovered Tenniel pencil sketches—The Annotated Alice will be Gardner's most beautiful and enduring tribute to Carroll's masterpieces yet.
But his position gave him tremendous perspective on his world. The creatures of wonderland have many arbitrary customs. Their behaviors are all defensible with strange logic, but the customs are still silly or even cruel. There are obvious echoes of the Victorian world, as the animals are opinionated and have strong ideas about what constitutes appropriate behavior. The creatures' preciousness and their arbitrary sensitivities mock the fastidiousness of the Victorian era.
The Alice books also mock the children's literature of the day. In keeping with the character of the time, children's literature was full of simplistic morals and heavy-handed attempts to educate the young. Some of the books supposedly for children were quite dry, and at the least suffered from a lack of imagination.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1865, and it was an immediate success. Carroll's sense of the absurd and his amazing gift for games of logic and language have made the Alice books popular with both adults and children, and they have remained some of the best-known children's books written in English. The well-known Disney adaptation draws freely from both books, while retaining the basic structure of the first book and remaining faithful to the flavor and central themes of the story.
The Alice books deal with the sometimes precarious world of children; the reader should keep in mind that at the time of their writing, the advent of industrialization had raised people's consciousness of child labor and exploitation. Carroll sees the world of children as a dangerous place, shadowed by the threat of death and the presence of adults who are powerful but often absurd.
The book is refreshingly complex, refusing to take patronize its young audience with simplistic morals or perspectives. A point of comparison is Antoine de St. Exup?ry's The Little Prince: while the The Little Prince sets up a rather simplistic binary between children (who are good, wise and innocent) and "the big people" (who are mean, shallow, and foolish), the Alice books satirize the absurdities of adults while avoiding pat conclusions about the difference between adults and children. Childhood is seen as a state of danger, and although Carroll has an evident fondness for children he never idealizes them. Alice's challenge is to grow into a strong and compassionate person despite the idiosyncrasies of the creatures she meets (the creatures symbolizing the adult world). She has to learn the rules of each new encounter, but in the end she must also retain a sense of justice and develop a sense of herself. Rather than set childhood and adulthood as simple opposites, valorizing the former and disparaging the latter, Carroll shows the process by which a good child can become a strong adult. Alice is also not without "adult" friends along the way: in the first book, for example, the Caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat are two enigmatic creatures who seem to understand how Wonderland works. They help Alice at key points...
Newly discovered letters by Lewis Carroll, an expanded selection of diary excerpts, and a wealth of new biographical materials are some of the features of this revised Norton Critical Edition.
This perennially popular Norton Critical Edition again reprints the 1897 editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass along with the 1876 edition of The Hunting of the Snark. Each text is fully annotated and the original illustrations are included.
An unusually rich “Backgrounds” section is arranged to correspond with three clearly defined periods in Lewis Carroll’s life. Letters and diary entries interwoven within each period emphasize the biographical dimension of Carroll’s writing. Readers gain an understanding of the author’s family and education, the evolution of the Alice books, and Carroll’s later years through his own words and through important scholarly work on his faith life and his relationships with women and with Alice Hargreaves and her family.
Reflecting the wealth of new scholarship on Alice in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll published since the last edition, Donald Gray has chosen eleven new critical works while retaining five seminal works from the previous edition. Two early pieces—an essay by Charles Dickens and poem by Christina Rossetti—take a satirical look at children’s literature. The nine new recent essays are by James R. Kincaid, Marah Gubar, Robert M. Polemus, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Gilles Deleuze, Roger Taylor, Carol Mavor, Jean Gattégno, and Helena M. Pycior.
The Selected Bibliography has been updated and expanded.
When Alice steps through a mirror, she enters a reflection of her world where backwards is forwards, the future is remembered, and only the opposite of logic makes sense. Increasingly befuddled, she’s challenged by the belligerent Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the nonsense rhymes of the Jabberwocky, and the discovery that she’s a pawn in a living game of chess. To become queen and find her way home, Alice must play.
A masterpiece of the absurd, Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland continues to inspire artists, filmmakers, musicians, and writers after all these years.
Revised edition: Previously published as Through the Looking-Glass, this edition of Through the Looking-Glass (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.