A Wonderland of Alices

Article by liz

This year is the BEST year to be an Alice in Wonderland fan! In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic, publishers all around the world have put their best print forward to create a stunning array of celebratory Alice work. Let me be clear: I would have an entire library solely set aside for Alice in Wonderland-related books if I could. These stories were the first book I properly destroyed by carrying around with me nonstop (please imagine, if you will, four and a half feet of small Liz carrying a hardcover double edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass everywhere she went, with a cat bookmark poking out the top). 

This year’s publishing smorgasboard of Alice titles is nearly too much for me. I’m sure it might be for any other devoted Alice fans, as well! To help you decide which is the best for your needs, whether they’re scholarly or storybook, here’s a roundup of all our featured Alice titles—rated by how many Cheshire Cats’ worth they made me smile when I held them in my hands.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Penguin Clothbound Classics) Cover Image
By Lewis Carroll, Hugh Haughton (Introduction by), Hugh Haughton (Notes by), John Tenniel (Illustrator), Coralie Bickford-Smith (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780141192468
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - March 10th, 2010

This clothbound edition of Alice and Looking-Glass is just too sweet. The bright flamingos from the classic croquet scene are the perfect unexpected motif. The portable size, quality Penguin introduction, and further reading list make it a great gift for a younger Alice fan.

Cheshire Cat Smile-o-Meter: 3

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass: 150th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Cover Image
By Lewis Carroll, Charlie Lovett (Introduction by), John Tenniel (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780143107620
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - July 7th, 2015

And while we’re talking Penguin, I adore the cover of this new Penguin Classics deluxe edition of both Alice and Looking-Glass. This is the edition I would probably grab for my personal Alice needs: it’s paperback and portable, gorgeously designed, with one of the trippiest incarnations of the Cheshire Cat I’ve ever seen on a cover. Perfect for on-the-go Alice needs.

Cheshire Cat Smile-o-Meter: 2

Alice's Adventures Under Ground Cover Image
By Lewis Carroll, Charles Santore (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781604335729
Availability: Backordered
Published: Cider Mill Press - September 8th, 2015

Surprise! This stunning collector’s edition features the original draft of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, first titled “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground” when Charles Lutwidge Dodgson first set it to paper after telling the story to his young listeners. This original draft is faithfully reproduced here with all-new illustrations from illustrator Charles Santore. A must-have for any Alice connoisseur.

Cheshire Cat Smile-o-Meter: 3

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Other Tales (Knickerbocker Classics) Cover Image
By Lewis Carroll, Lori M. Campbell (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781631060687
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Race Point Publishing - May 19th, 2015

This slipcased hardcover is a big ol’ book, and not as modern in its design as some of the other editions we have here, but none of that matters: this edition has not only Alice and Looking-Glass, but Carroll’s other works, including The Hunting of the Snark! This “Agony in Eight Fits” is the pinnacle of nonsense poetry, and Carroll’s other poems and stories are great additions to the collection.

Cheshire Cat Smile-o-Meter: 4

The Complete Alice: with the Original Illustrations by Sir John Tenniel in Full Colour Cover Image
By Lewis Carroll, John Tenniel (Illustrator), Philip Pullman (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781627794350
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - September 15th, 2015

This immense storybook comes from Macmillan, the original publishers of Alice. Their storied status gives them access to Carroll treasures, including the originals for the illustrated plates in this edition: colored versions of John Tenniel’s illustrations. This gilt-edged, family-reading-friendly edition comes with a “deleted scene” from the original text of Looking-Glass, and an introduction by the modern master of allegorical fantasy, Philip Pullman.

Cheshire Cat Smile-o-Meter: 4

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Macmillan Classics) Cover Image
By Lewis Carroll, Hilary McKay (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781447273080
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Pan Macmillan - September 2015

Through the Looking-Glass (Macmillan Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781447273097
Availability: Backordered
Published: Pan Macmillan - September 2015

These editions together make a truly special gift set, perfect for a family library or an eager younger reader. With the original illustrations, gorgeous design, and insightful introductions, Macmillan proves that the first publisher is still sometimes the greatest publisher. I love these. They’re classic, lovely, and timeless.

Cheshire Cat Smile-o-Meter: 2

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: 150th Anniversary Edition Cover Image
By Lewis Carroll, Salvador Dali (Illustrator), Mark Burstein (Editor)
ISBN: 9780691170022
Availability: Backordered
Published: Princeton University Press - September 29th, 2015

It’s Salvador Dali illustrating Alice in Wonderland. You already know you need this book. But if you needed further convincing, there’s a fascinating introduction about Dali and Carroll’s connections, the mathematical basis behind Alice, and analysis of the logical, mathematical aspects of Dali’s art.

Cheshire Cat Smile-o-Meter: 3

The Annotated Alice: 150th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Annotated Books) Cover Image
By Lewis Carroll, Martin Gardner (Editor), John Tenniel (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780393245431
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 5th, 2015

This deluxe version of Norton’s annotated edition is a joy to hold, read, and study. It’s a comprehensive collection of scholarship on Alice, Looking-Glass, and their creator, including filmographies, illustrations from dozens of different artists, and all previous annotations and introductions to Norton’s scholarly editions. Plus, it’s just gorgeous. If you want to know absolutely everything about historical scholarship of Alice, you can’t pick up something better.

Cheshire Cat Smile-o-Meter: 5

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Decoded: The Full Text of Lewis Carroll's Novel with its Many Hidden Meanings Revealed Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385682268
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Canada - September 29th, 2015

...Exceeeept maybe Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Decoded. I couldn’t believe at first that this book was just about the first Alice story--it’s huge! This gorgeous book is coffee-table-sized and as chock-full of fascinating information as the Norton edition. David Day’s two continuous commentaries, all on his own research, argue that Alice provides a complete classical education--in full color. I’m obsessed with this new addition to Alice studies.

Cheshire Cat Smile-o-Meter: 5

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