Little Willow (slayground) wrote,
Little Willow
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated edition compiled by Cooper Edens

This afternoon, just as I received a parcel, one of my frequent teen customers arrived in the store for her second visit of the day. She wandered over to me as I took Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, a Classic Illustrated Edition compiled by Cooper Edens, from its packaging. She leaned over my shoulder as I looked through the book, cover to cover. I examined every single page, exclaiming over the illustrations and pointing out my favorite lines in the text. This thorough examination and play-by-play apparently amused my customer, who was already aware of both my adoration for this story and is accustomed to my enthusiastic nature in general.

This volume offers illustrations from the late 19th and early 20th centuries from multiple artists. The cover opens up to reveal a four-and-a-half-page collage of these illustrations. The art was compiled by Cooper Edens who, according to the publisher's website (link below) "owns one of the largest collections of vintage picture books in the world."

As a lifelong fan of the original story, I thought it was neat to see different interpretations of the same characters almost side-by-side. For example, the first four pages of Chapter IV: Pig and Pepper offer three different depictions of Alice with the frog footman, one of which is a full-page color illustration by Harry Rountree. This volume included some of my favorite Alice illustrations, such as the trial scene in Chapter XII: Alice's Evidence as drawn by both Tenniel and Arthur Rackham. (Note that this edition colorized Tenniel's courtroom scene and flipped Rackham's card-tumbling image.) It also introduced me to other lovely pieces, including A.A. Nash's tall Alice and Maria Kirk's sweet-looking brown Cheshire Cat, blending in with a tree.

The original text has been kept in tact. My favorite piece of emblematic verse, The Mouse's Tale, which can be found in Chapter III: A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale, retains its intended, poetic tail shape rather than being flattened into sentences.

The book closes with an alphabetical list of acknowledgments, noting all of the persons whose collections are included. (Speaking of which, if someone could tell me who drew the piece with a girl reading a book while the characters of Alice stand behind her, I'd be much obliged. I've seen that image before, and I'd really like to know who created it!)

All in all, this is a nice addition to the bookshelf of an Alice collector. Thank you, Chronicle Books, for including Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in your library of Classic Illustrated Editions.

Because there are so many different editions of Alice floating around, I offer you a link to this item in its new paperback form at the publisher's website.

To learn more about my fondness for the original book, read this post.

Check out Jules' review of this edition at Seven Impossible Things.
Tags: alice, books, reviews
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