Let’s see if I can make this an occasional feature: I spotlight a specific edition of Alice Adventure’s in Wonderland/Through the Looking-Glass in my collection. Why? Because I can!
Trying to thin out my book collection is always hard, because more than half of it are always things I haven’t read and need to hold onto. The other less-than-half are ABSOLUTE favorites I cannot (yet) let go of, though most of them end up being passed on eventually – it’s usually just a matter of time. And the same could be said for my collection of Alice in Wonderland editions.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass (And What Alice Found There) are pretty much my favorite books ever, and because they are so widely published, there are millions of editions out there from all over the world. I try to thin this collection out occasionally, because while buying up all eight different copies I found for a dollar each at a library book sale sounded good at the time, I’ve come to find I really only want to keep certain editions. And those would be determined by artwork.
Many editions of Alice boast about how they contain “the original art of John Tenniel!”, which is great butnot exactly special. The book, as well as the original artwork, is in the public domain, so any edition include Tenniel’s art. And while it is wonderful (I own quite a few pieces of clothing and jewelry with the etchings on them), it gets repetitive. Not to mention it’s always nice to see a fresh take on an old story.
Cleaning out my collection, I came across an edition of Through the Looking-Glass illustrated by artist Malcolm Ashman. The art is very far from the original, and frankly surprised me when I took a closer look: The style is very realistic, and often depicts the fantastical creatures Alice meets as humans in costumes; Alice and the Red and White Queens look more like mid-century Southern belles than Victorian England ladies; and many of the faces of the male characters make me think they might have been based on British actors I can’t quite place. Have a look at some of the artwork below.
You can find this edition here on Amazon.