During the latter part of the nineteenth century, processes were being developed to make it cheaper to mass-produce colour images. The very first coloured representations of Alice appeared not in the original books but in associated products and were printed using the chromo-lithograph process. An early example of this is a music cover for The Wonderland Quadrilles , composed for the pianoforte and published around Red was also the colour that Carroll had wanted for the cover binding of the very first edition of Alice in , rather than the usual Macmillan green.
The first colour to appear inside any of the books was that in The Nursery Alice. After Tenniel had redrawn and enlarged the illustrations into a more suitable format for nursery readers, the book was engraved and printed by Edmund Evans. In that edition, published in and approved by Carroll, we see Alice in a yellow dress, a white apron with blue trimming and blue ribbon and stockings. This colour was also used in the postage stamp case invented by Lewis Carroll, which was produced by Emberlin and Son in the same year. Alice wears a blue dress and headband, white apron with yellow trimmings and yellow striped stockings.
Harry G. Theaker was commissioned to colour sixteen plates of the Tenniel illustrations for a one volume edition of Alice and Through the Looking Glass published in It was later adopted by Walt Disney for their film. Other colour versions followed. In the s, Diz Wallis was commissioned to add to the Theaker colourings to create a complete set of Alice images for both books. We might say that it was the yellow dress that he approved for The Nursery Alice. I have always had a soft spot for tricksters, outsiders, and those who survive outside the normal rules.
They can be dangerous friends, of course, with their motley of helpfulness and mischief, but they see things that others do not. The Cat is not exactly a comforting presence.
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But he is good-natured in his fashion, if treated with courtesy, and a guide in a world of strangeness. The Cheshire Cat is a law unto himself, even by the anarchic standards of Wonderland. I always admired the way that he goes where he pleases, disappears at will, fears nothing and meets all disapproval with a grin. He is aware of the madness of the world and his share in it, but it does not bother him. Even the domineering, execution-obsessed Queen of Hearts is helpless in the face of the Cat.
How do you decapitate a floating head? And sometimes the kings, queens and rulers of the world are more frightened of a mocking grin than anything else From the twitchy, waistcoat-wearing White Rabbit to the hookah-smoking, poetry-spouting Caterpillar; from the quirky and sometimes downright rude Hatter to the curiously wise Cheshire Cat with his incessant grin.
But while I have loved the characters of Wonderland since childhood, one always stood out to me as one of those characters that is so much more than meets the eye - the infamous, hot-tempered Queen of Hearts. Her catchphrase— Off with her head! We know that she is easily enraged and apparently vain at least, where her skills at croquet are in question. She has ten children—a full suit—and yet her relationship with the King hardly seems like the stuff of fairy tales. She does not tolerate white roses. And she bakes. Quite well, one might discern, from how the Knave is willing to risk his head in order to steal a batch of her homemade tarts.
When I set out to write Heartless , my origin story for the Queen of Hearts, taking stock of all these little details felt like gathering clues.
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What does she have against white roses? I set out to answer all these questions and more in telling her backstory. I wanted to show who she might have been, many years before Alice fell down the rabbit hole. I hoped to write the story, not of a rage-filled queen, but of a girl with much bigger dreams and passions. A girl wholly unaware that fate had its own plans for her. Cast a new light on who she is, and who she was, and make sense of some of those baffling details that Carroll gave to us.
I hope that after reading Heartless, readers will feel like I have for so many years—there is indeed so much more to this queen than we thought. Before I knew a thing about him, John Tenniel was a hero of mine, or rather, I should say, his white rabbit was. I loved analysing the shading, intricate lines of cross-hatching, the folds of the sleeve, the tilt of the head, that wide-eyed rabbit stare.
Tenniel was one of the reasons I became an illustrator. Later, I began to notice old Punch cartoons with that familiar cross-hatch style, and a particular look to the figures.
Curiouser and curiouser
The British lion, Britannia, a forlorn Bismarck getting off a ship — they could all have stepped out of the pages of Wonderland. Born in , Tenniel began his career as a painter — one of his murals, Saint Cecilia , adorns the House of Lords. It was this work that caught Charles L. Chris Riddell , Children's Laureate - , is an accomplished artist and the political cartoonist for the Observer. He is also the author and illustrator of the Goth Girl and Ottoline series for children. As well as celebrating the heritage of The Macmillan Alice, we also wanted to bring Alice, her curiosity and her friends to a new audience.
What better way to do that than ask the next generation of designers over at YCN creative network to interpret the story themselves and come up with a new cover? Watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes look at the wonderful entries and the twelve winners. Vanessa is the author of The Looking Glass House. P ublished by Atlantic Books, it is a novel informed by family treasures and stories of the real Alice, her great-grandmother, Alice Liddell.
The confusion between the two is understandable, even though the fictional Alice grows still more famous every day and the real Alice lived out her life in relative obscurity. The Alice that lives on in my family is akin to that. And then there is the imperious Alice who was turned by the years into something harder: she forbade Caryl, my grandfather, a career as a concert pianist, for example.
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When I was a child I used to go upstairs and pull on her gloves, flick through her cheque stubs. It transported me — and it is a testament to the power of the book that the next phrase has grown hackneyed — down the rabbit hole. I would become Alice for a little while, transported to the foreign country of the past. And I still feel a connection: I look like her — the real Alice that is — and she has also inspired so much in my creative life.
To commemorate the famous boat ride that inspired the book, the city of Oxford hosts all manner of Alice in Wonderland events, including tea parties, croquet, storytelling and workshops. This helpful guide contains tips on decorations, food and activities… everything you need to throw your own Alice-themed party.
Make your own bunting using this template. Just print it and cut the triangles out carefully and then stick them to some string. You can make the bunting as long as you like. Make sure an adult helps you with the cutting out. Make a Mad table cloth. Buy a plain tablecloth and decorate it by using stamps, paints or sticking on pictures of characters. If you want more colouring, this Mad Hatter could do with a splash.
Attach Drink Me and Eat Me labels using ribbon or string to bottles, teacups, bowls, plates and anything else that holds food or drink. Decorate the cocktail sticks for your sausages or cheese and pineapple with Alice designs.
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All you need to do is print out pictures of Alice and her tea party companions, or clubs and hearts, and glue them to the ends of the sticks. Bake cookies or mini cupcakes and write Eat Me on them in icing. Jaclyn Miller. Cedric Lamar. Matthew Webb.
Richard L. Helen Q. Mary Jo Dondlinger. Cherelle D. Amrita Ramanan.