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The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition Hardcover – Nov 23 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; Upd Sub edition (Nov. 23 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 (227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,944 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 Publishers Weekly

Zwerger's (The Wizard of Oz) captivating cover image of the Mad Tea-Party for this edition of Carroll's 1865 tale conveys the psychological tension of the interior artwork: Alice, at the head of an elongated table with a pristine white linen cloth, stares at the pocket watch that the March Hare is about to lower into his cup of tea. The Hare, bug-eyed, gazes out at readers while the Mad Hatter to his right, wearing a hat box, fixates on a black upturned chapeau (in lieu of a place setting), and the Dormouse between them sleeps. Across the table, an empty red mug is placed in front of a vacant green chair, and a teacup and saucer trimmed in red seems to be set for the reader. The painting conveys the way in which Zwerger brilliantly manages both to invite readers into the story and to keep them at a distance. From the heroine's first appearance, as she falls down a well while chasing the White Rabbit, with a glimpse of orderly bookshelves at the upper left corner, Zwerger demonstrates the many layers to Alice's journey: a cutaway view reveals that the bulk of the other "shelves" are the result of rats and insects tunneling underground. The supporting cast conveys the artist's nearly sardonic perspective. The contrary caterpillar, with six of its eight arms crossed, would be at home in New York's East Village: instead of a hookah it smokes a cigarette and sips red wine, yetAunlike Sir John Tenniel's sedated counterpartAthis caterpillar is lucid, defiantly staring out at an Alice (and readers) absent from the scene. Zwerger's penetrating interpretation reinvents Carroll's situations and characters and demands a rereading of the text. All ages. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book

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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

Most helpful customer reviews

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 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Yanni on Aug. 11 2000
Format: Paperback
"Through The Looking Glass" is, perhaps, not QUITE as good as "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland", but it's close enough to still rate five stars. Not, properly, a sequel to the first book, there is no indication at any point in it that the Alice (clearly the same individual, slightly older) from this book ever had the adventures in the first one; there is no reference to her previous adventures, even when she once again meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Obviously, the two books are intended as parallel adventures, not subsequent ones.
The most memorable bits from this book are doubtlessly the poem, "Jabberwocky", as well as chapter six, "Humpty Dumpty". But all of the book is marvellous, and not to be missed by anyone who enjoys a magical romp through silliness and playful use of the English language.
(This review refers to the unabridged "Dover Thrift Edition".)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Power HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Sept. 4 2012
Format: Hardcover
For some reason Amazon bundles all reviews of every edition of under a single product making it very difficult to evaluate a particular one. So you may be looking for the Ingpen edition but unable to find an Ingpen review.

I fell in love with the Ingpen edition when I saw it in the store. Every page turn features an outstanding color illustration by one of the of the world's leading illustrators.

In Alice she says:'what good are stories without pictures?' We can read a story without a picture, yet when we have a picture it really helps us in imagining the story, and Ingpen has a great imagination when it comes to the picture story.

This is the kind of book you will leave on the coffee table just so you can show it off to your friends. Whether you are a parent or just reading it your own pleasure, I found reading it this way much better. I do own a pictureless version which I never got around to reading.

Sterling publishers have published other stories with Ingpen such as the Wizard of Oz. So if you wish to enjoy a classic story and to fire your visual imagination at the same time this is a great way to do it. I passed my version along to a niece and have the occasional pang of regret for having given it away.

I highly recommend it, think you will love it and hope this was helpful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 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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