If you’ve ever exclaimed ‘curiouser and curiouser!’, told someone that they are grinning ‘like a Cheshire cat’, or that they are as ‘mad as a hatter’, then you are, of course, influenced by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Often cited as the origin of modern children’s literature, few books have captured the imagination as much as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the book’s first publication by Alexander Macmillan in 1865. Since then, the book has never been out of print, and has been published in around 176 languages. Without even delving into its film and television adaptations, its print history is fascinating, with different illustrations and formats over the years.
The first edition was published with engraved illustrations by John Tenniel. The edition sitting in front of me in the bookstore today is a gorgeous copy illustrated by Tove Jannsson, the Swedish illustrator behind the Moomin series. We’ve just ordered what looks like a stunning pop-up edition from design-led publisher Tango Books. Everyone we spoke to about the book seemed to have a different story to tell, connected to their copy of the book.
So here, we open things out. We’ve collected together pictures of some of the editions we could lay our hands on, with just a brief description of each. Please share yours! If you email a photo, plus the name of the publisher and year in which it was published, we will share it here, and continue to update this blog for as long as you send us things. Bonus points for foreign language editions, interesting illustrations and unusual formats. For what is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?
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