That’s approximately 55,600 unbirthdays, if the poor girl were still stuck in the animated version of the Mad Tea Party.
Since Alice’s first tumble down the rabbit hole of Victorian times, there have been over far over 100 illustrated editions of Alice in Wonderland published. Why has this book been commissioned through the ages so many times? Do we need anything but Sir John Tenniel’s beloved, perfectly period illustrations?
If Alice editions had never started to become a tradition, I’d say, perhaps, that we wouldn’t, but Lewis Carroll himself changed the format three times in his career, coloring it and releasing a younger children’s edition. Then there were 8 editions released the year that its copyright expired in the UK alone.
The classic tale remains a staple of adolescent literature, landing in the hands of children between the ages of 9-12, and simultaneously collected and coveted by all ages, especially if the illustrations successfully convey the curious ambiance of her adventure through Wonderland.
Lewis Carroll’s tale is unique in that it captures the strangeness of dreams (and in parallel, the mercurial nature of adolescence) better than most children’s stories. The imagery in Wonderland sets an artist free in exactly the same way that our dreams do, each night. It’s not just another children’s book, but a keepsake kept as a treasured piece of ephemera.
I fully admit that it’s always been a dream goal of mine to create a “choice collectible Alice,” that looks the proper part of an heirloom book. I believe that very few titles are released this way today, making my planned edition worthy of attention, perhaps. Using the original text, I am highly motivated to create not just the illustrations–but an entire book, from cover to cover, as a high caliber work of art. With the recent film by Tim Burton being popular, but ultimately missing the mark, it’s high time to release an unforgettable version in print, true to the nature of the story.
It used to be an unspoken tradition for illustrators to be frequently paid to take on Alice in Wonderland, and reflect their times and their modern illustrative style in the work. For illustrators, this is like an art history imprint that we now seem to be losing.
I currently have finished 18 art pieces and 23 border and design pieces. Contact me if you are interested in working together to finish an extremely lavish version of this cherished classic.