‌Through the Looking Glass:
The Complicated World of Lewis Carroll


Chilliwack: March 2011


Lewis Carroll

     The Rev. Charles Dodgson, also known as Lewis Carroll, was a complicated man. In addition to writing the Alice books, Carroll was a Church of England deacon, Oxford mathematics instructor, photographer, author of scholarly texts, poems and stories for adults and children, and inventor of mathematical and logical games.

     Carroll’s character Alice’s influence has been felt ever since Carroll wrote down the stories he told the Liddell children in 1862. Alice first appeared in a movie in 1914, was animated by Disney studios in 1951 and will appear in a Tim Burton production starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in 2010. Many have followed Alice down the rabbit hole, including Neo in “The Matrix,” and Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick. Alice has influenced Matthew Good, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Aerosmith, Alice in Chains, Marilyn Manson, Korn, the characters of the television show “Lost,” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.” The Caped Crusader fought the Mad Hatter in several Batman comics and Salvador Dali, Anne Vansweevelt and other artists created paintings about Alice. She has shown up in comic books, novels, computer games, and “Alice in Wonderland” Syndrome, which is defined by distorted vision and body image perception.

The Chess Game

     In “Chess and theology in the Alice books,” A.L. Taylor writes that Carroll was not presenting a game so much as a demonstration that an adult might give a child of seven and a half. “In the first place, it would be illogical to expect logic in a game of chess dreamed by a child. It would be still more illogical to expect a pawn which can see only a small patch of board to understand the meaning of its experiences. And there is a moral in that. This is a pawn’s impression of chess, which is like a human being’s impression of life.”

     It is possible to trace Alice’s progress through the chapter on a chess board. Alice first meets the Red Queen, then moves through the board until she meets the White Queen, Humpty Dumpty, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, the White Knight and other characters before being crowned a queen herself.

 

         

Jabberwocky

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

 "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

  One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

  "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

  He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe. 

                                            --Lewis Carroll



Library Resources:

Bakewell, Michael. Lewis Carroll : a biography. London : Heinemann, 1996. -- Call number: PR 4612 B34 1996 (Chilliwack)

Bloom, Harold. Lewis Carroll. Philadelphia : Chelsea House, c1987. -- Call number: PR 4612 L452 1987(Abbotsford)

Bolster, Stephanie. White stone : the Alice poems. Montreal : Signal Editions, c1998. -- Call number: PS 8553 O578 W55 1998 (Chilliwack)

Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland. New York: W. W. Norton, [1971]. -- Call number: PR 4611 A4 G7 (Abbotsford, Chilliwack)

Carroll, Lewis. The annotated Alice : Alice's adventures in Wonderland & Through the looking glass. New York : C. N. Potter, [1960]. -- Call number: PZ 7 D64 A552 (Abbotsford, Chilliwack)

Carroll, Lewis. The Penguin complete Lewis Carroll. Harmondsworth, Eng. : Penguin, 1982, c1939. -- Call number: PR 4611 A1 1982 (Chilliwack)

Carroll, Lewis. Through the looking glass [sound recording]. Don Mills, Ont. : Audio Language Studies, [1986]. -- Call number: PZ 3 C2 (Abbotsford)

Carroll, Lewis. Through the looking-glass, and what Alice found there. Ann Arbor : University Microfilms, 1966. -- Call number: PR 4611 T57 1966 (Chilliwack)

Cohen, Morton Norton. Lewis Carroll : a biography. New York : A.A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, c1995. -- Call number: PR 4612 C588 1995 (Abbotsford)

Hunt, Peter. Alternative worlds in fantasy fiction [electronic resource]. London ; New York : Continuum, 2001. -- Call number: E-Book (Internet)

Kincaid, James R. "Alice's invasion of Wonderland." PMLA, Vol. 88, No. 1 (Jan., 1973), pp. 92-99. JStor.

Kutzer, M. Daphne. Empire's children [electronic resource] : empire and imperialism in classic British children's books. New York : Garland Pub., 2000. -- Call number: E-Book (Internet)

Little, T. E. The fantasts : studies in J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Mervyn Peake, Nikolay Gogol, and Kenneth Grahame. Amersham, England : Avebury, 1984. -- Call number: PR 830 F3 L58 1984 (Abbotsford)

Manlove, C. N. (Colin Nicholas). From Alice to Harry Potter [electronic resource] : children's fantasy in England. Christchurch, N.Z. : Cybereditions, c2003. -- Call number: E-Book (Internet)

Petersen, Calvin R. "Time and Stress: Alice in Wonderland." Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 46, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1985), pp. 427-433. JStor.

Ravitch, Diane. The English reader : what every literate person needs to know. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006. PR 1109 E63 2006 -- (Abbotsford)

Reichertz, Ronald. The making of the Alice books [electronic resource] : Lewis Carroll's uses of earlier children's literature. Montréal [Que.] : McGill-Queen's University Press, 1997. E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET

Sale, Roger. Fairy tales and after : from Snow White to E. B. White. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, c1978. Call number: PN 1009 A1 S24 1978 (Abbotsford)

Susina, Jan. The place of Lewis Carroll in children's literature. London : Routledge, 2008. -- Call number: ON ORDER: delivery date unknown (Abbotsford)

Tenniel, John, Sir. Tenniel Illustrations for Alice in Wonderland [electronic resource]. Salt Lake City : Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, 1994. Call number: E-book on the Internet (Web)

Thacker, Deborah Cogan. Introducing children's literature [electronic resource] : from Romanticism to Postmodernism. London ; New York : Routledge, 2002. -- Call number: E-Book (Internet)

Wheat, Andrew R. "Dodgson's dark conceit: Evoking the allegorical lineage of Alice." Renascence; Winter2009, Vol. 61 Issue 2, p103-123, 21p. Academic Search Premier.

Yung-Ting Kuo et al. "Cerebral perfusion in children with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome." Pediatric Neurology, Sep. 1994: 7. Volume 19, Issue 2, August 1998, Pages 105-108. Science Direct.

Zipes, Jack David. Victorian fairy tales : the revolt of the fairies and elves. New York : Routledge, 1991, c1987. -- Call number: PR 1309 F26 V5 1991 (Abbotsford)

Internet Resources:

Library of Congress: Lewis Carroll Scrapbook Collection: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/intldl/carrollhtml/lchome.html

Lewis Carroll Societies: http://lewiscarrollsociety.org.uk/pages/eventspeopleplaces/societies.html

Lewis Carroll Society of North America: http://www.lewiscarroll.org/lcsna.html

Lewis Carroll Society of North America on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=98241035511

Lewis Carroll Society UK: http://lewiscarrollsociety.org.uk/

Princeton University Department of Rare Books and Special Collections: Lewis Carroll: http://infoshare1.princeton.edu/rbsc2/portfolio/lc-all-list.html

Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson: Photographer: http://people.virginia.edu/~ds8s/carroll/dodgson.html

University of Texas at Austin Lewis Carroll Exhibit: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/web/carroll/#Introductory

Victorian Web: Chess moves in "Through the Looking Glass:"
 http://victorianweb.org/authors/carroll/zrd/0.htm

Victorian Web: Early Biographies of Lewis Carroll: http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/carroll/dreamchild/dreamchild2.html

Victorian Web: Modern Biography and Lewis Carroll: http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/carroll/dreamchild/dreamchild6.html

Victorian Web: Lewis Carroll: A Myth in the Making: http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/carroll/dreamchild/dreamchild1.html

Victorian Web: Lewis Carroll: An Overview: http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/carroll/

Victorian Web: Paintings of the Alice Books by Anne Vansweevelt: http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/vansweevelt/

Victorian Web: "Which way? Which way?": The Fantastical Inversions of Alice in Wonderland: http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/carroll/carter.html

Wikipedia: Works based on Alice in Wonderland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_influenced_by_Alice_in_Wonderland

Sources:

Anonymous. Go ask Alice. Simon Pulse, 2006. -- Call number: PZ 7 G623 2006 (Abbotsford)

Augustín, Álvaro. Pan's labyrinth [videorecording] = El laberinto del fauno. Montréal, Que. : Alliance Atlantis [distributor], [2007]. -- Call number: PN 1997 P367 2007 DVD (Abbotsford)

Beatles, The. Magical Mystery Tour. Capitol, 1967.

Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland. New York: W. W. Norton, [1971]. -- Call number: PR 4611 A4 G7 (Abbotsford, Chilliwack)

"Charles Lutwidge Dodgson." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Literature Resource Center. Note: This is the original link to the source. The page has since disappeared.

Lear, Edward. Edward Lear's Nonsense Poetry and Art.  http://nonsenselit.wordpress.com/

Lewis Carroll’s prologue in which Alice plays chess and wins: http://victorianweb.org/authors/carroll/zrd/0.htm

Lost. ABC, 2009. http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/index?pn=index

Matrix, The. Dir. Wachowski, Andy, Wachowski, Larry. Film. Warner Bros., 1999.

Radford, Robert. Dali. London : Phaidon Press, 1997. -- Call number: N 7113 D3 R34 1997 (Chilliwack)

Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson: Photographer: http://people.virginia.edu/~ds8s/carroll/dodgson.html

Taylor, A.L. "Chess and theology in the Alice books." Alice in Wonderland. in "Alice in Wonderland," New York: W. W. Norton, [1971]. -- Call number: PR 4611 A4 G7 (Abbotsford, Chilliwack)

Victorian Web: http://www.victorianweb.org/ 

"Was Alice in Wonderland a migraine figment of Lewis Carroll's imagination?" Nutrition Health Review: The Consumer's Medical Journal, Sep. 1994: 7. Health Source - Consumer Edition.

Wikipedia: “Works based on Alice in Wonderland:” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_influenced_by_Alice_in_Wonderland

 

Last updated December 13, 2011, lm

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