Celebrating the 150th Birthday of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — The publication history of Alice’s Adventures of Wonderland is a bit on the curious side. Lewis Carroll and his illustrator, John Tenniel, initially intended to release the book in July 1865. In fact, an edition of 2000 copies came out in June, but Carroll and Tenniel disliked the way the illustrations looked in this edition so they immediately withdrew the edition. However, twenty-three early presentation copies of this edition survived, and they are now worth a fortune. In November 1865, a second edition was published. Even though it was technically a second edition, it was this November edition that introduced the world to Alice. For this reason, I think that the 150th anniversary of the publication of Carroll’s classic should be celebrated in November rather than in July.
This Wednesday (November 11), the Children’s Literature Graduate Organization (CLGO) is presenting a public event that they are calling Alice’s (un)Birthday Party. This event will take place in the Student Union Room 340B from 4:00 to 5:30. Professor Jan Susina, an internationally recognized expert on Carroll’s writings, will deliver a keynote address. Professor Susina is a Professor of English at Illinois State University and the author of The Place of Lewis Carroll in Children’s Literature. Following the keynote address, there will be a panel discussion featuring Professor Susina, Sarah Minslow, and Alan Rauch. Everyone who attends will have an opportunity to participate in a Victorian tea party complete with tea, sandwiches, and scones. I hope to see you there.
Kudos— As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of our department. Here is the latest news:
Janaka Lewis recently presented a paper called “Women Learning Freedom in Post-Reconstruction America” at the History of Education Society Annual Meeting in St. Louis.
Lara Vetter‘s “Modernism and Historical Fiction: The Case of H.D.” was recently published in an essay collection entitled A History of the Modernist Novel (Cambridge UP, 2015).
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here is a date to keep in mind:
November 13 — Shakespeare in Action is presenting a lecture by Paul Menzer titled “Every Bad Quarto Deserves a Good Theory” on Friday, November 13, at 6:00 pm in Robinson Hall’s Black Box Theater.
Quirky Quiz Question — The character Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is based on a real girl whose first name was Alice. Does anybody know the last name of the real Alice?
Last week’s answer: Steampunk
Gears and clockwork figure prominently in a popular fantasy genre that is set in a world in which advanced electronics and digital technology never developed. What is the commonly used term for the fantasy genre?