Lewis Carroll and his 'Alice' books

This guide helps you find information about Lewis Carroll's famous children's books, how they inspired later authors and artists, and how the original works have been transformed.

Subject Guide

Dr Juliet O'Conor's picture
Dr Juliet O'Conor
Contact:
Contact me via our online reference service citing my name and the title of this guide
Subjects:Literature

RMIT Information Management partnership

A partnership between the SLV and RMIT School of  Business IT and Logistics, Master of Information Management enables students to participate in assessable projects with an industry outcome.

Page content in this guide has been produced by the following Masters students under the supervision of Bernadette Welch and in collaboration with Juliet O'Conor:

Jessica Michael- biographical research

Lucy Spencer- stage performance research

Anna Welch- literary criticism

Lewis Carroll's 'Alice' Books

This guide helps you find information about Lewis Carroll's famous children's books: Alice's adventures in Wonderland (1866) and Through the looking-glass and what Alice found there (1872), how they inspired later authors and artists, and how the original works have been transformed.

The first edition of Alice's adventures in Wonderland was acquired through successful fund raising through the 2014/15 State Library Foundation Appeal.

November 2015 marks 150 years since the first edition of Alice's adventures in Wonderland went on sale, under Charles Dodgson's pseudonym Lewis Carroll. The Macmillan anniversary website describes many aspects of Carroll's text including how the first printing in June 1865 was withdrawn and the second printing released in November 1865, dated 1866, became the official first edition. Because the Alice books were significant in the development of children's fiction, marking a change from didactic to imaginative texts, the Library's Children's Literature Collection holds a comprehensive collection of Alice books.

We also hold information about the author and original illustrator, and subsequent illustrated works and transformations.

This blog celebrated with the Library's 2013 display of a selection of Alice books from the Library's collection.

Here is how you search for Carroll and Tenniel's Alice books:

Alice's adventures underground, Carroll facsimile 1886 p. 76

In the large Search box enter the title of either book plus the surnames of the author and original illustrator, Carroll and Tenniel. Click enter. You can refine this list by scrolling down the options on the left hand side of the screen.

If you are a registered user you can request non-rare items for use in the Library. To request rare children's books contact the Library and make an appointment to use those items in the Heritage Collection Reading Room.

Twenty years after the first Alice book was published, Carroll had the manuscript he wrote by hand and illustrated himself for Alice Liddell, reproduced in facsimile. The 1886 facsimile of Alice's adventures underground is a rare item and can be used in the Library's Heritage Collection Reading Room. A page from this facsimile is shown opposite.

The original manuscript is held in the British Library and their electronic version can be found here.

The tabs at the top of this page help you find:

Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell This tab will explain how to find biographical information about Carroll, how he came to write these books, the child he modeled his fictional Alice upon, and some of the social and political references in the books

Illustrators of Alice will explain how to find the books illustrated by other artists who were inspired by Carroll's stories and John Tenniel's illustrations. Links to biographical information about many of the artists, foremost being John Tenniel (1820-1914) whose images, shown on the right hand side of this page, have attained iconic status

Alice on stage shows you ways in which the Alice books have been reworked for stage and screen

Translations includes reference works about the enormous range of translated version and describes how to find our holdings of Alice translations

Adaptations, parodies and transformations of the original Alice books have been published for children, adults and in advertising pamphlets and this page explains how to find them.

Transformations include selectively reformulated versions, eg we hold a navigation textbook set to Alice, a cookbook of recipes such as the Ambidextrous Mushrooms, and physical transformations such as pop-up books of Carroll's works

John Tenniel's illustrations

Tenniel's frontispiece for Through the looking-glass