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Alice 150 Featured Item of the Month: July

Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz, is an exhibit highlighting the timelessness of Alice in Wonderland and the life and work of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). Each month, a new item from the exhibit will be showcased.

In July, visit the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery in Hornbake Library to view postcards influenced by the characters and adventures of Alice in Wonderland, varying in dates between the early 1900’s and present day. These delightful postcards highlight the many ways Alice has impacted popular culture in the past 150 years, from stage performances to photographic and illustrative art.

You can view all the featured items of the month from Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll here.

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Alice 150 Featured Item of the Month: June

Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz, is an exhibit highlighting the timelessness of Alice in Wonderland and the life and work of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). Each month, a new item from the exhibit will be showcased.

In June, visit the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery in Hornbake Library to view a collection of miniature Alice books. Printed in multiple countries including Russia, Italy, the United States and the U.K., these delightful books seem to have sipped from the bottle labeled “Drink Me”. Most are no larger than the palm of your hand!

Also included is a miniature version of the Jabberwocky poem, printed on a “click tablet”: six red wooden boards held together by ribbon. The poem is printed on one side, while the title, colophon, and four wood engravings are displayed on the other. When held upright, the boards cascade down, revealing the story.

View all the featured items of the month from Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll in our online exhibit.

Spotlight on Wonderland: The Duchess

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With a frustrating mix of rain, wind, sunshine, pollen, and taxes, the month of April is certainly reminiscent of the volatile tempers of the Duchess. Blustery then blithe, raucous then regal, the duchess is an absolute mess of contrary and contrasting emotions.

When Alice first walks into the Duchess’ home, she notes the distinct and overwhelming aroma of peppery soup, followed by the sound of howling and sneezing. These sounds arise from the duchess and her baby sitting in the middle of the room, feeling the effects of an overzealous cook.

`There’s certainly too much pepper in that soup!’ Alice said to herself, as well as she could for sneezing.

There was certainly too much of it in the air. Even the Duchess sneezed occasionally; and as for the baby, it was sneezing and howling alternately without a moment’s pause. The only things in the kitchen that did not sneeze, were the cook, and a large cat which was sitting on the hearth and grinning from ear to ear.

When Alice attempts to calm the cacophonous kitchen, she is rebuked. “If everybody minded their own business,” the Duchess said, in a hoarse growl, “the world wound go round a good deal faster than it does.” Not long after, the Duchess all but flings her child into Alice’s arms in her haste to get ready for the Queen of Hearts’ croquet game.

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But this is not all we see of the Duchess. Later, at the croquet game, she appears again in a completely different state of mind and attitude. It is not hard to understand why Alice feels something akin to whiplash when she is greeted again.

`You can’t think how glad I am to see you again, you dear old thing!’ said the Duchess, as she tucked her arm affectionately into Alice’s, and they walked off together.

Alice was very glad to find her in such a pleasant temper, and thought to herself that perhaps it was only the pepper that had made her so savage when they met in the kitchen.

In the dialogue that follows, the Duchess reveals that she can find a moral in absolutely anything. Inevitably, when these morals are stated, they cause the reader’s eyes to cross.

Would you rather encounter a cantankerous Duchess or a short-tempered Queen in Wonderland?

Did you Know:

  • Tenniel’s illustration of the Duchess may be based on a 14th century painting of Margaret Maultasch, Countess of Tyrol, which is titled ‘The Ugly Duchess’.
  • The Cheshire Cat belongs to the Duchess. You can see it in the background of illustrations of her kitchen. When Alice asks why her cat grins, the Duchess, in her usual huffy manner, replies “It’s a Cheshire cat…and that’s why.”

Visit the Maryland Room gallery in Hornbake Library from October 2105-July 2016 to discover more about the Duchess and the rest of the Wonderland cast of characters in the exhibit Alice 150 Years and County…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz.

Alice 150 Featured Item of the Month: April

Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz, is an exhibit highlighting the timelessness of Alice in Wonderland and the life and work of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). Each month, a new item from the exhibit will be showcased.

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In April, visit the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery in Hornbake Library to view a humorous letter from Charles L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll).

In the letter, Carroll declines an invitation to an “At Home” party. Be sure to note the purple ink in which the letter is written (a trademark of Lewis Carroll). Carroll made a point of avoiding “At Homes” in which hosts would designate a time for visiting—having said on another occasion, “I dread and shun all such hosts of strangers.”

View all the featured items of the month from Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll here.

Alice 150 Featured Item of the Month: March

Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz, is an exhibit highlighting the timelessness of Alice in Wonderland and the life and work of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). Each month, a new item from the exhibit will be showcased.

In March, visit the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery in Hornbake Library to view Tea With Alice: A World of Wonderland Illustration, a bilingual (Portuguese and English) catalog of Oxford Story Museum’s 2013 exhibition curated by Ju Godinho and Eduardo Filipe.

The portfolio features illustrations from Alice in Wonderland reinvisioned by 21 artists from around the world. Many of the drawings have not been published elsewhere such as Lisa Nanni’s White Rabbit’s House and Lucie Laroche’s Miro-esque tea party.

View all the featured items of the month from Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll here.

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Alice 150 Featured Object of the Month: February

Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz, is an exhibit highlighting the timelessness of Alice in Wonderland and the life and work of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). Each month, a new item from the exhibit will be showcased.

In February, visit the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery in Hornbake Library to view Alice-inspired humorous presidential pamphlets featuring Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt.

Through the Outlooking Glass with Theodore Roosevelt is a political commentary on Theodore Roosevelt’s attempt at a third term as a Progressive party candidate. Written in the form of a parody of Through the Looking Glass, the story consists of a dialogue between Alice and the hostile Red Knight (Roosevelt).

Frankie in Wonderland, written anonymously by investment banker, lampoons President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal in eight short chapters based on both Alice books

View all the featured items of the month from Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll here.

Spotlight on Wonderland: The Mock Turtle

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Winter’s bitter cold is here, the skies are dark and gloomy, what could possibly be more miserable? Answer: the mock turtle. Our unusual friend has the monopoly on melancholy, or so it seems, as he is rarely ever seen not weeping bitterly and bemoaning his sad state.   His distress is due to the fact that once upon a time, he was a real turtle. But unfortunately when Alice meets him, he is a rather unsightly mixture of a calf’s head, tail, and hooves, with the shell of a turtle.

Before Alice is introduced to him, the Queen of Hearts asks:

“Have you seen the mock turtle yet?”

“No,” said Alice. “I don’t even know what a mock turtle is.”

“It’s the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from,” said the Queen.”

And what is mock turtle soup supposed to be?  Mock turtle soup was a popular dish in the 18th and 19th century. It is an inexpensive imitation of green turtle soup. Recipes usually call for calf brains, head, organs, and/or hooves to replicate the texture of turtle meat. (Eww.) Though it may be the dead of winter and soup sounds quite warm and comforting, even I cannot stomach the idea of this particular dish.

The Mock Turtle is known for constantly weeping, sighing deeply, and pausing dramatically while telling the story of his early life as a real turtle. He frequently speaks in puns. Particularly amusing is his litany of courses he took while still in school.  Some mentioned are “Reeling and writhing,” and “the different branches of arithmetic- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.” An example of Lewis Carroll’s clever wordplay in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 

Would you rather encounter a depressed Mock Turtle or a stark raving mad Hatter in Wonderland?

Did you Know:

  • In Tenniel’s illustration, the Mock Turtle’s body is composed of the ingredients that go into a typical mock turtle soup recipe.

Visit the Maryland Room gallery in Hornbake Library from October 2105-July 2016 to explore the mock turtle and the rest of the Wonderland cast of characters in the exhibit Alice 150 Years and County…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz.