High up on our Embellished Manuscripts wish list has long sat Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll’s much-loved and bestselling work of children’s literature. This season we are so excited to be able to say this classic story is now a part of our collection!
Since it was first published in 1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has enchanted audiences of all ages. The book’s memorable cast of eccentric characters, Alice’s helter-skelter adventure itself and Carroll’s wonderful use of the English language continue to stand their literary ground.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832–1898) is the real name of the man who’s known to most as Lewis Carroll. He is regarded as a foremost author of “nonsense literature,” a genre defined by its subversions of language conventions and logic. Despite his success as a published author, for most of his life he also kept a post as a mathematics lecturer at the University of Oxford and remained an avid photographer.
The manuscript page that was used to create this cover design comes from a one-of-a-kind book that Carroll wrote and illustrated in his own hand. Inspired by the three children of his friend Henry Liddell, including a girl named Alice, Carroll created the whimsical tale after a summer boating trip with the family. He eventually wrote it down and presented it to Alice, complete with his own drawings as seen here. Of course, he was a scrupulous man and, not trusting his own ability as an illustrator, recruited and worked closely with professional artist John Tenniel to get the book ready to go into print. It was also his belief that for the cover of his book the bright red colour was “not the best, perhaps, artistically, but the most attractive to childish eyes.” Following a similar logic, we’ve complemented Carroll’s handwriting and illustrations with a red background.
It is our great pleasure to offer our Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland edition as a dedication to the memory of the story’s author and the magical world he created.
About Paperblanks: 25 years ago, we created Paperblanks to help keep book heritage alive and vital in our modern age, and to offer an inspiring space for people to express themselves. Thanks for joining us on this journey! For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at paperblanks.com.