Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland may be known for un-birthdays but today it celebrates a very un-un-birthday and turns 150 years old! In celebration of the book, I decided to give it a read for the first time (review to come) and do some research into this extremely quotable children’s classic.
Did you know:
- Author Lewis Carroll’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
- ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND (commonly shortened to ALICE IN WONDERLAND) has never been out of print.
- The book has been adapted into pretty much any medium you can imagine: opera, film, comic book, play, video game… You name it.
- Genre: literary nonsense (How great would it be to tell people you majored in literary nonsense?!)
- Although Carroll certainly is responsible for the popularity of the Cheshire cat, the idea of the grinning cat has been circulating since the late 1700s. There are several theories as to the origin of the “Cheshire cat” (which you can read here) but my favourite is that the town of Cheshire sold cat-shaped cheese, which it was customary to eat tail-first so that the last bite was the cat’s grin.
Update: Want to know more about the story behind the story? Macmillan has compiled a beautiful look back at Alice over the past 150 years, with facts about the “real” Alice, the original colour of her dress, etc.: http://aliceinwonderland150.com
Not only has this classic provided endless fodder for pop culture, with allusions to it being made left and right (my personal favourite being the final season of Alias), I feel it has to be said that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has led to some truly stunning book covers. Do yourself a favour and Google some covers. A word of warning: you will need a napkin to mop up your drool.
Who knew such a little book could have such a wide enduring reach.
Now raise your glass…
…and drink up!
Happy birthday, Alice!