Funny enough, I never read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass as a child. But I happened upon a Bantam Classic book that comprised both, recently, and sat down to read them.
The pictures drawn by nineteenth-century artist John Tenniel would please any child and amuse any adult, illustrating the strange tales of a young girl’s dream encounters with all manner of peculiar creatures. Carroll’s poetry rhymes agreeably and the stories’ whimsy lightens the mood on a dull day. Just as a seven-year-old would, I laughed out loud at the Mock Turtle’s description of education under the sea, particularly instruction in the “different branches of Arithmetic―Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.”
I do wish I had read this book in my youth. But then again, I would not then have understood and appreciated the trials and tribulations of the author (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) as explained in the Introduction. All these years later, after my own struggles to write and publish, I can admire both the childlike quality of the tales and the efforts involved in getting them into print for children (and adults) to enjoy.
Have you read any of Lewis Carroll’s books?
[Photo courtesy of Mystic Art Design of Pixabay.]