2015 is a very exciting year for literary milestones. Recently party minx ‘The Great Gatsby’ celebrated it’s 90th birthday party and the literary universe rejoiced! Now, another one of my favourites joins in on the fun! Quirky children’s book ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ written by Lewis Carroll is celebrating 150 years of publication this year! #literarycelebrations Alice continues to be one of the most read books of all time and for all the right reasons. Although a small girl, Alice’s curiosity and intelligence is bold and brilliant. She will forever be the perfect role model for children to continuously question and challenge their surroundings. Round of applause for Mr Carroll. #literarygod It is such a special story I know I am not the only book nerd out there whose life has been drastically influenced because of Alice. Just typing in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ into social media outlets such as twitter and instagram, more than one million posts come up- and counting. In honour of the 150th anniversary, I was inspired to reflect on all the logical nonsense that ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ has filled my literature heart with.
To celebrate this wonderful literary birthday, I purchased my very own copy of Vivienne Westwood’s 150th anniversary edition of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.’ My local bookstore had a few editions on display for the anniversary, but this edition spoke to me. It is just too damn pretty. I have come across Vivienne Westwood’s love of Alice in Wonderland as I used to wear her fragrance ‘Naughty Alice.’ And from her fashion designs it is obvious the woman lives and breathes Alice. In the foreword of this addition, she writes: Kids! Never become complacent. The world we think we know reflects the way we are conditioned to see it. Maybe it’s not like that at all. Carroll is on your side. Always wonder.’ These words could not be more ‘Carrollised‘ if they tried and he would be very happy with that formal tribute. AS well as designs from Miss Westwood, this anniversary edition includes the original illustrations by John Tenniel. How cool! I find it extraordinary that a piece of literature written in 1865 can be read anew and appreciated in entirely different ways. ‘Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland’ continues to evolve and transform over the years. There are numerous modern re-writes of the classic, such as ‘Alice in Zombieland’ by Gena Showalter and ‘Splintered’ by A.G Howard to name a few. Also the Tim Burton and Disney film versions always shine a different light over the story. It seems to be like a fine wine that it keeps getting better with age. As a child, I was drawn the aesthetics of ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ I loved the time stricken rabbit, the clock, the queen and of course the tea parties. It’s probably the reason why my glory box is filled with Alice themed house décor, including a picture of the entire ‘Alice’s Adventure s in Wonderland’ story. Super cool. Also, it is most likely the reason the tea cups were my favourite ride at Disneyland. It must be the Alice effect.
What draws me so deeply into Wonderland is Alice’s curiosity. I love her chaotic mind indulging in the looking glass of her imagination. It’s one of the reasons I adore literature because it gives me the opportunity to learn, discover and explore. Carroll is such a brilliant writer because he recognised that there was a little part of Alice inside each of us. That part of our soul which lights up when we are doing something we love or spending time with our favourite person. Through Alice, he teaches the world that it is okay to switch off from reality for a short while, to only come back and appreciate everything you have. Even more amazing about this story is that it is not a love story, but a journey of self appreciation and understanding. Alice shows her audience of the importance of becoming your own person. Such a strong independent woman who fights for what she believes in. I have really loved rereading Alice and falling under the spell of Carroll’s story. I love the randomness of the characters and the fruitful advice they all have to give. I never read this book as a child, but I still feel that it is one of my favourite Children’s literature stories. Although I loved the idea of the story as a child, I feel I am old enough to appreciate the finer details. Dear reader, the next time you are browsing through an op shop or a second hand book shop, try to pick yourself up a copy of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass.’ You will be so glad you did. And as for me, I will go make myself a cup of tea. I think Alice would like that.
Miss Book Dependent xo