Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Mad tea-party, not a Mad Hatter...

Did you know... that Carroll never uses the phrase mad hatter? The readership has adopted that term over the years. It was the party, that was described as a mad tea-party...

Well, this is a nice development. A few topics on deck, and my latest Dover "image collection" comes in a bit ahead of the latest predictions.... so I find myself with the new material to give you a glimpse of, and a leg up on next entry. All good.

I will admit, that when Dover asked me about doing a collection of illustrations focusing on Lewis Carroll's Alice, though I knew there was a lot of good material to look over, I wasn't sure I'd find enough to keep me interested. It didn't take long before I realized that these few volumes full of over-the-top imaginative stories provide some outstanding material to interpret, and many of my illustration heroes had—well—gone down that hole.

The spark for this project was a chance meeting almost two years ago, with Mark Burstein—President of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Mark's knowledge of Carroll's work and the depth of his own collection made him a great partner for this volume. Not only did Mark provide a great introduction to the book, but he was able to guide us to some rare material, and lend us a few editions to work from that otherwise might have been unattainable. Kudos to you, sir.

In all there are images from 16 different illustrators of Carroll's works. From a selection of Sir John Tenniel's work in the original editions, to Arthur Rackham and a wide array of Golden Age art, and finishing up with some great wood engraving by contemporary artist/illustrator Barry Moser.

Shown here, top to bottom, A. E. Jackson, Charles Folkard, A wonderfully eerie ink piece by Charles Robinson, Gwynedd Hudson, (who also did the image chosen for the volumes cover, shown as well) and a wondrously different "ginger" Alice, by Mabel Lucie Attwell.

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