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The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition Hardcover – Nov 18 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; Upd Sub edition (Nov. 18 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393048470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393048476
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 2.8 x 26.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

"What is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations!"

Readers who share Alice's taste in books will be more than satisfied with The Annotated Alice, a volume that includes not only pictures and conversations, but a thorough gloss on the text as well. There may be some, like G.K. Chesterton, who abhor the notion of putting Lewis Carroll's masterpiece under a microscope and analyzing it within an inch of its whimsical life. But as Martin Gardner points out in his introduction, so much of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is composed of private jokes and details of Victorian manners and mores that modern audiences are not likely to catch. Yes, Alice can be enjoyed on its own merits, but The Annotated Alice appeals to the nosy parker in all of us. Thus we learn, for example, that the source of the mouse's tale may have been Alfred Lord Tennyson who "once told Carroll that he had dreamed a lengthy poem about fairies, which began with very long lines, then the lines got shorter and shorter until the poem ended with fifty or sixty lines of two syllables each." And that, contrary to popular belief, the Mad Hatter character was not a parody of then Prime Minister Gladstone, but rather was based on an Oxford furniture dealer named Theophilus Carter.

Gardner's annotations run the gamut from the factual and historical to the speculative and are, in their own way, quite as fascinating as the text they refer to. Occasionally, he even comments on himself, as when he quotes a fellow annotator of Alice, James Kincaid: "The historical context does not call for a gloss but the passage provides an opportunity to point out the ambivalence that may attend the central figure and her desire to grow up." And then follows with a charming riposte: "I thank Mr. Kincaid for supporting my own rambling." There's a lot of information in the margins (indeed, the page is pretty evenly divided between Carroll's text and Gardner's), but the ramblings turn out to be well worth the time. So hand over your old copy of Lewis Carroll's classic to the kids--this Alice in Wonderland is intended entirely for adults. --Alix Wilber

From Library Journal

Clarkson Potter published The Annotated Alice in 1960, and Gardner published the sequel More Annotated Alice in 1990. Here, Gardner combines and expands both to produce The Definitive Edition. This presents the full texts of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, and "The Wasp in a Wig," a "suppressed" chapter of Looking-Glass. Each of these texts is accompanied by a lengthy marginal commentary that identifies historical and literary references and allusions, explains Carroll's logical and mathematical puzzles, and interprets colloquialisms and idiomatic expressions. Gardner's commentary is sufficiently detailed to be informative without burdening Alice with excessive pedantic baggage. The Definitive Edition also includes Tenniel's original illustrations and an exhaustive annotated list by David Shaefer of Alice on the screen. This is a happy contribution to those who appreciate Lewis Carroll.
-Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, GA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?" Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm not reviewing the story (we all know what a masterpiece it is :) but this edition is fabulous! It is actually two seperate dust-jacketed hardcover volumes, one for each tale, and they come in one very sturdy slipcase with beautiful art. For the current Amazon price it is a *total* bargain - I wasn't expecting it to be so nice. We also got the jigsaw puzzle book to go with it and it is also better than expected. They make a great gift for a lucky little gal!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 28 2009
Format: Paperback
People tend to lump "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass (and What Alice Found There)" into one collection which has taken on the new title of "Alice in Wonderland". This is probably a product of the movies, which took bits and pieces from each and made a composite adventure. This was possible, because Lewis Carroll (a.k.a. Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) managed to make the stories so even in quality that they can be put together seamlessly. He also managed to keep the stories enough different, that one can still enjoy reading both of them one after the other, without the feeling that the second is just a retelling of the first.

To be sure, there are several ways in which the stories are similar, but not to the point where it detracts from the reader's enjoyment of the story. There are only three characters which appear in both books, one of which is Alice. The other notable characters (the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, etc.) are well distributed between the two books. Thus there is a looking-glass between the two, just as the looking-glass plays such a key role in the second book.

The Penguin Classics edition of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass" includes both books including the illustrations by John Tenniel. It also includes the original "Alice's Adventures under Ground" which includes Lewis Carroll's artwork. For additional features, it includes `"Alice" on the Stage' an article which Lewis Carroll wrote after seeing a production of the stage version, and it includes preface's to the books which Lewis Carroll wrote in 1896 for the 1897 editions. There are wonderful notes for both books, and a very informative introduction by Hugh Haughton.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 13 2009
Format: Paperback
"... and go on till you come to the end: then stop." Good advice for reading this book, from the Red King himself.

To say that "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is a classic would be to state the obvious. Published originally in 1865, it was taken from stories which the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll) told to three girls, the daughters of Henry George Liddell, including Alice Liddell who is the basis for the heroine of the stories. The stories inside are wonderful and superb nonsense which appeal to readers of all ages, as long as you don't try to read too much into it. The stories are filled with all sorts of absurdities based on language, logic, math, and parody. If you obtain a copy which has notes that discuss what is being parodied, it will add to the fun, certainly, but it isn't necessary because even without the parody it is still great fun. Also, you can certainly find references online to help find the sources which are being parodied.

Other than to say that the book is about Alice's adventures it would be difficult to say that there are any great lessons here, other than perhaps to not take things too seriously. At the same time there are certainly some running themes throughout the stories. Size is a key element at some times Alice is very tiny, and at other times incredibly large, and food and drink are the main triggers for these changes. Sense and nonsense is another running theme as there are those who try to make sense out of the nonsense, and others who just enjoy the ride.

The book opens with Alice following the white rabbit down the hole, and plummeting deep into the Earth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Cochran on Sept. 22 2003
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put it down, man. I checked this book out at the local library and read through the opening 130 pages in one sitting until I was falling asleep at three in the morning. Lewis Carroll's classic tale of adventure and fantasy "Alice in Wonderland" is one of the best books I've ever read.
The story is about a little girl, Alice, who falls into a very deep rabbit hole, seemingly straight to the middle of the earth! Her adventures once she lands are as wonderfully imagined as any in the history of literature. Her encounters with the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the King and Queen of Hearts, the Duchess, The Mock Turtle, The Gryphon, and The Wise Old Caterpillar are as fun and as pure and as well intended as any characters I've ever read a writer write.
The story behind how Alice in Wonderland came to be is equally interesting, and one worth reading up on. That Carroll wrote it without any pretension to selling it, or for money, or even to publish it, is truly one of the remarkable stories of world literature. His motives were pure, and (at least to me) this is one of the reasons why this book is so dear and so readable.
I highly recommend "Alice in Wonderland" to readers young and old and can only say that I look forward to reading "Through the Looking Glass" next! A marvelous, wonderful book, as fun as any book I've ever read.
Yours,
Stacey
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