‘Contrariwise … if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t’, it ain’t. That’s logic’
‘I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole…without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,’ wrote Lewis Carroll, describing how Alice was conjured up one ‘golden afternoon’ in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. His dream woulds of nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom depict order turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig, time is abandoned at a disordered tea-party and a chaotic game of chess makes a seven-year-old girl a Queen. But amongst the anarchic humour and sparkling word play, puzzles and riddles, are poignant moments of nostalgia for lost childhood. Original and experimental, the Alice books give readers a window on both child and adult world.
This is the most comprehensively annotated edition available and includes the manuscript version of Alice’s Under Ground and Carroll’s 1887 essay ‘”Alice” on the Stage’.