New Exhibit: Alice in Punch-Land

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Sir John Tenniel (self portrait), 1889.

Sir John Tenniel (1820-1914) was already a well known artist when Lewis Carroll approached him in 1864 to illustrate his upcoming book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Although he would later become celebrated for his iconic Alice illustrations, at the time, Tenniel was highly regarded for his work in Punch, a British weekly magazine devoted to political commentary, satire, and humor.

Tenniel worked as an painter and illustrator before becoming a political cartoonist for Punch in 1850. He contributed over 2,000 cartoons for the magazine over the next 50 years. His work covered domestic and international affairs with biting wit. Tenniel was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1893 for his artistic achievements. He officially retired in 1901.

It was Tenniel’s technical skill, the high quality of his work, and his reputation at Punch that caught Carroll’s eye as he was searching for an illustrator for Alice. The two worked closely together in the year it took to illustrate Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with Tenniel receiving meticulous notes from Carroll throughout the process. Carroll’s respect for Tenniel was unmistakable. He famously rejected the initial printing of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, partially due to Tenniel’s concerns over the quality of the printed illustrations (which bled on the page).

Several years later, Carroll convinced Tenniel to illustrate his sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, published in 1871. Carroll omitted a chapter from the book , “A Wasp in A Wig”, many believe due to  Tenniel’s objections. Tenniel wrote in a letter to Carroll in 1870:

Don’t think me brutal, but I am bound to say that the ‘wasp’ chapter does not interest me in the least, and I can’t see my way to a picture. If you want to shorten the book, I can’t help thinking – with all submission – that this is your opportunity.

Since Tenniel was working for Punch at the same time he illustrated the Alice books, it is no surprise to see Wonderland characters pop up in his illustrations. For example, early drawings of Alice, Humpty-Dumpty, and the Lion and the Unicorn by Tenniel appear in the magazine before the Alice books were published.

As the popularity of Alice grew over the years, Punch utilized Alice references and parodies as a way to poke fun at politics. For example, Tweedledee and Tweedledum personified a Franco-Russian alliance in 1899, and the text to ‘How Doth the Little Crocodile’ was rewritten to parody of international affairs in 1887. Amusingly, the editors at Punch often included the line With Apologies to “Alice” in the captions for these cartoons.

Visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library to explore some of these early Alice-related illustrations in Punch. While there, stop by the Alice 150 Years and Counting: The Legacy of Lewis Carroll exhibit to discover more about John Tenniel, Lewis Carroll, and the Alice books.

You can also explore more illustrations from Punch, available in the Special Collections and University Archives, in our online Flickr album.

The Lewis Carroll Society of North America is Coming to Hornbake!

RabbitLogoSmRA one-of-a-kind event is coming to Special Collections and University Archives and all are invited to attend! The Lewis Carroll Society of North America will be holding their Spring Meeting in April, with a series of talks taking place here at Hornbake library on April 15th and 16th.

This will be a rare opportunity to meet several of the illustrators featured in our exhibit Alice 150 and Counting…Selections from the Collection of Clare and August Imholtzas well as the collectors themselves. Hear about how George Walker, Oleg Lipchenko, and Tatiana Ianovskaia and other artists bring Lewis Carroll’s story to life, then discover their Alice illustrations as you tour the exhibit. Listen to an Alice song by Eva Salins or a dramatic reading of “Jabberwocky” and “The Walrus and the Carpenter”. Speakers will discuss all things Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland during the two day conference, including topics like photography, Disney, fashion, psychology, and much more. Lectures will take place in Hornbake Library on the afternoon of Friday, April 15 and throughout the day on Saturday, April 16.

Additional items not currently featured in the exhibit will also be display for the frabjous festivities. A special exhibit is also on display featuring John Tenniel’s illustrations from Punch Magazine. John Tenniel, who illustrated both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, was well known for his work in the popular British political and satirical magazine. Throughout the years, Alice and the other Wonderland characters find their way into political commentary on parliament, international affairs, and domestic policies.

This event is open to the public. View the full program and registration information herePlease register by April 5.

See you in Wonderland!

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Spotlight on Wonderland: The March Hare

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March is here, and so is the madness! Time to butter our pocket watches and drink too much tea, as our good friend the March Hare has been known to do. When Alice first meets him, she sits down at his large tea party without being asked, much to his irritation. In a rather passive aggressive way, he makes Alice aware of her breach of etiquette.

“Have some wine,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.

Alice looked all around the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. “I don’t see any wine,” she remarked.

“There isn’t any,” said the March Hare.

“Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it,” said Alice angrily.

“It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited,” said the March Hare.”

Touche, you snarky little hare. On top of this, he and the Mad Hatter eventually try to stuff the poor sleepy little dormouse into a teapot.

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What do you think of the March Hare’s manners? How do they stack up among the mad characters in Wonderland?

Did You Know:

  • Tenniel drew straw in the March Hare’s hair to show that he was mad. In England, hares were thought to go mad in Spring. Straw was a symbol of madness.
  • In The Nursery Alice, Carroll wrote, “that’s the March Hare with the long ears, and straws mixed up with his hair. The straws showed he was mad–I don’t know why. Never twist up straws among your hair, for fear people should think you’re mad!”
  • The March Hare’s house, often seen in the background of illustrations of the Mad Tea Party, features chimneys shaped like rabbit ears and a roof thatched with fur.

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Visit the Maryland Room gallery in Hornbake Library from October 2105-July 2016 to explore the White Rabbit 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.

Curator Pick: Favorite Item from the Alice 150 Exhibit

Shorthand1My favorite item from the Alice 150 exhibit is a small, bright yellow booklet – a transliteration of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into Pitman shorthand. This version of Alice was printed in 1965 and is written in New Era Pitman, a style of shorthand soon to go out of fashion with the introduction of the “shorterhand” Pitman 2000 in 1975.

Pitman shorthand utilizes a set of symbols that represent phonetic sounds. These sounds are then strung together to create a words, phrases, and punctuation. Reading shorthand is sort of like playing the game Mad Gab, but a LOT harder.

Let me clarify that I do not know how to read shorthand. It does, however, have a very distinct visual appearance that I recognized instantly when I saw this version of Alice. I’d seen this strange language before.

Back in 2014, we digitized a few Brooke Family letters from Special Collections that contained mysterious notes written in shorthand.

We harnessed the power of the internet via Twitter and Tumblr to try and translate them, but so far haven’t been able to read the notes. They remain an archival mystery…

I’m hoping to teach myself stenography one day. Perhaps I’ll start with Chapter Five, Advice From a Caterpillar:

 

Visit the Alice 150 and Counting exhibit in Hornbake Library to view more curious versions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or explore our online exhibit.


Audrey Lengel is an intern for Hornbake Library’s ‘Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll’ exhibit. She is graduating this December with her Master of Library Science from UMD’s iSchool and is interested in library outreach. Prior to attending the University of Maryland, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Public Advocacy from Temple University.

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Alice Makes her Debut at PAL

The madness continues with a new exhibit of Alice on display in the Lowens Reading Room in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library.

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Although Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) began as a children’s book, during his lifetime the tale of Alice and her Wonderland friends went on to in-spire numerous theatrical and musical pieces. In fact, Carroll consulted and wrote special material for the first authorized major theatrical staging of Alice in Wonderland, presented to great acclaim by Henry Savile Clarke in 1886.

Since Carroll’s passing in 1898, interpretations of his works, characters, and life have multiplied astronomically in all of the performing arts. Alice has transcended boundaries of form and style from adaptations by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to the psychedelic rock song “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane.

Items in the exhibit include a record of the very same song, as well as early plays, playbills and programs, sheet music, and photographs of well-known theatrical and film Alices like Isa Bowman and Carol Marsh. The items on display are on loan from the collection of local Lewis Carroll collectors August and Clare Imholtz, with select items from Special Collections in the Performing Arts collections.

Visit the Lowens Room to explore these Alice in the Performing Arts treasures. Can’t get enough Alice? Stop by Hornbake library and explore the exhibit Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz. You can also view the online exhibit anytime!

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Speech to AFL-CIO

In 1961, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and leader of the civil rights movement, spoke at the AFL-CIO’s Fourth Constitutional Convention. Though the early labor movement had a complicated history with race relations, by the 1960s the AFL-CIO and the civil rights movement had fully embraced each other in solidarity. President George Meany introduced King as “a courageous fighter for human rights” and “a fine example of American citizenry.”

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In his speech, King commented on the similarities between the labor movement and the civil rights movement:

“Negroes in the United States read this history of labor and find it mirrors their own experience. We are confronted by powerful forces telling us to rely on the good will and understanding of those who profit by exploiting us.”

“Our needs are identical with labor’s needs, decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community.”

Dr. King also drew attention to the need for solidarity between the two movements: “The duality of interests of labor and Negroes makes any crisis which lacerates you, a crisis from which we bleed.”

King asked two things of the AFL-CIO in his speech: root out racial discrimination in labor unions and provide financial assistance to the civil rights movement. King’s message did not fall on deaf ears: he received a standing ovation from the delegates.

Read Dr. King’s full speech online

Watch a clip from Dr. King’s speech (starts at 15:33)

Read more about the labor movement’s relationship with the civil rights movement

Alice in Special Collections & University Archives

Curious to discover more about Lewis Carroll and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? Visit the Maryland Room to view Alice-related material from Special Collections and University Archives in Hornbake Library.

Here you can find early editions of Alice in Wonderland, including copies owned by Djuna Barnes and Katherine Anne Porter.  The Gordon W. Prange Collection holds Alice editions published in Japan during the Allied Occupation. Our Mass Media and Culture collections houses photographs and other records of Alice in film and media.

Check out the list below or search our catalog to discover more.

Special Collections

  • Boys and Girls of Bookland. By Nora Archibald Smith. Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith.
    New York: D. McKay, c1923.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. By Lewis Carroll. New York: Macmillan and Co., 1900.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. By Lewis Carroll. Illustrated by Barry Moser. Berkeley : University of California Press, 1982.
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Illustrated by Barry Moser. Berkeley : University of California Press, 1983.
  • Yours very sincerely C.L. Dodgson (alias “Lewis Carroll“) : an exhibition from the Jon A. Lindseth Collection of C.L. Dodgson and Lewis Carroll. New York : Grolier Club, 1998.
  • In Memoriam, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, 1832-1898: Obituaries of Lewis Carroll and Related Pieces. Compiled and Edited by August A. Imholtz, Jr. & Charlie Lovett. New York : Lewis Carroll Society of North America, 1998.
  • The Tale of the Mouse’s Tail. By David and Maxine Schaefer. Illustrated by Jonathan Dixon. Silver Spring, MD : Mica Publishers, 1995.

Djuna Barnes Collection

  • Through the Looking-glass and What Alice Found There. By Lewis Carroll. Philadelphia : H. Altemus Co., [1897?]. Altemus’ Young People’s Library.
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. By Lewis Carroll. New York : Macmillan and Co., 1920.
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. By Lewis Carroll. London: Macmillan and Co., 1910.

Katherine Anne Porter Collection

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. By Lewis Carroll. New York: Three sirens press [19–?].

Mass Media and Culture Collections

  • Alice in Sponsor-land: a chronicle of the adventures of Alice, the Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse in that twentieth century Wonderland on the other side of your radio loudspeaker: with specific reference, as they say, to the entertainment offerings of the NBC Red Network. Illustrated by Barney Tobey. National Broadcasting Company, 1941.
  • Selections from the Columbia Pictures Television Production of ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ Golden Torch Music Corporation, 1985.
  • TV Guide. Triangle Publications, Inc.. Vol. 33, No. 49, Dec. 7, 1985; Vol. 14, No. 13, March 26, 1966.; Vol. 47, No. 9, Feb. 27, 1999.
    • Broadcast and Cable Listings of Alice adaptations on TV.
  • Tea Party Scene Still from “Alice in Wonderland.” (Photograph). Natalie Gregory, Anthony Newley, Arte Johnson, Roddy McDowell. Columbia Pictures Television for CBS Television Network, 1985. From Tom Buckley Collection. 
  • Great Performances’s Presentation of “Alice in Wonderland.” (Photograph). Public Broadcasting Station, Nov. 23, 1984. The late Richard Burton as the White Knight and his daughter, Kate, as Alice.
  • Headshots of the stars from “Alice in Wonderland.” (Photograph). Columbia Pictures Television for CBS Television Network, 1985. From Frank Absher Collection.

Gordon W. Prange Collection

  • Fushigi no kuni no Arisu (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”). Kusuyama, Masao, trans. Tokyo: Komine Shoten, 1948.
  • Fushigi no kuni no Alice (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)Eigo Junia =Junior English, vol. 4, no. 5., 8/5/1949
  • Fushigi no kuni no Alice (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)Hikari no kuni, vol. 2, no. 9., 9/1/1949
  • Fushigi no kuni no Alice (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)Kodomo no mado, vol. 2, no. 2, 5/1/1947
  • Fushigi no kuni (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”). Kitada, Takushi. Tokyo: Furendobukkusha, 1948.
  • Kagami no kuni no Arisu (“Through the Looking-Glass”). Kusuyama, Masao, trans. Tokyo: Komine Shoten, 1948.
  • Fushigi na kuni no Arisu (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”). Kikuchi, Sunao. Tokyo: Kokumin Tosho Kankokai, 1948.