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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Illustrator: John Tenniel, 1865) Tall Alice | by Toronto Public Library Special Collections
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Illustrator: John Tenniel, 1865) Tall Alice

Tall Alice, one of her many changes of size during the story, is an iconic image in children’s literature. p.[15].


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, with forty-two illustrations by John Tenniel. London: Macmillan & Co., 1865, this edition 1897 (eighty-sixth thousand).


“Lewis Carroll” was the pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), a shy don who taught mathematics at Oxford. Though Dodgson never married, he was devoted to his child-friends, particularly to Alice Liddell, who is portrayed as the “Alice” of the eponymous tale.


The story of Alice’s Adventures Underground, published as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, (a title often shortened to “Alice in Wonderland” in later editions) was told extemporarily to Alice and her two sisters during a boat-ride one day in July, 1862. Alice asked Dodgson to write it down, and he obligingly spent many hours recalling and transcribing the story.


The tale was published in 1865 but Dodgson was not satisfied with the quality of the printing, and recalled this edition (some of the books from this printing were sold in the United States). The book was reissued in 1866, and was soon a nursery classic.


Sir John Tenniel (1820-1914, knighted 1893) was originally a cartoonist. He was born in London and studied at the Royal Academy Schools. His illustrations for an edition of Aesop’s fables led to a job at Punch magazine, for which he created over 2,000 cartoons, but he continued to illustrate books, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking-glass (1872). The illustrations for these books were engraved by the Dalziel brothers.


Order this print or a high-resolution file from the Library.


Copyright: Public Domain

Digital Rights: Copyright Toronto Public Library

Source Credit: Toronto Public Library (Osborne)

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Taken on February 19, 2010