Jan-Maat's Reviews > Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
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bookshelves: 19th-century, british-isles, childrens-ya, humour, novel, maths
Read 2 times. Last read December 11, 2018 to December 12, 2018.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."


Once upon a time I had a very handsome edition of this in two volumes in a red slipcase, I gave it away, I have vague memories of having had a very cheap paperback edition too but rereading I found an old copy of my mother's which comes with explanatory notes drawn from The Annotated Alice. These explanations are just about the weirdest parts of the whole book. For example the explanation for Cheshire Cat: there was a correspondence in Notes and Queries on the origin of the phrase 'to grin like a Cheshire Cat'...(1) because Cheshire was a County Palatine (2) because Cheshire cheese was made in the shape of a cat (3)because the sign-painters tried to paint snarling leopards (as on the Royal arms) and only succeeded in producing grinning cats all of which seem crazier to me than disappearing cats that leave their grins behind.

I remember once that in a translation class out teacher discussed the beginning of Jabberwocky
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

with us, or perhaps tried to prod our unwilling voices into speech. I'm sure there was some clever reason for doing so, but in hindsight it seems simply in keeping with the spirit of both books.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 24, 2011 – Shelved
December 11, 2018 – Started Reading
December 12, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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Zanna why does Carroll's nonsense stick? I am hopeless at remembering poetry, but twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe


message 2: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Zanna wrote: "why does Carroll's nonsense stick? I am hopeless at remembering poetry, but twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe"

don't know, perhaps it has something to do with the way it feels as though it is meaningful despite being meaningless? Maybe the music of it?


Julie Ah, I love that you are reading this. Time for another re-read for sure.


message 4: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Julie wrote: "Ah, I love that you are reading this. Time for another re-read for sure."

it is a refreshing book to reread


message 5: by Ilse (new)

Ilse By singling out that quote, I know finally see where Gavin Friday took inspiration from in his song 'Why Say Goodbye', thank you :-). I love that annotation on the snarling leopards. A great idea to reread this!


message 6: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Ilse wrote: "By singling out that quote, I know finally see where Gavin Friday took inspiration from in his song 'Why Say Goodbye', thank you :-). I love that annotation on the snarling leopards. A great idea t..."

not that I am biased but I think it would be an excellent choice for you, plus it has one great cat character


message 7: by Ilse (new)

Ilse Unsurprisingly maybe that cat I remember as my favourite character from the story, meow


message 8: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Ilse wrote: "Unsurprisingly maybe that cat I remember as my favourite character from the story, meow"

sadly I cant type a slowly disappearing :)


message 9: by carol. (new)

carol. oh, +1 for the above comment. :) :)


message 10: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Loved both of these. I had an old red hardback with black and white illustrations - magical.


message 11: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat Laura wrote: "Loved both of these. I had an old red hardback with black and white illustrations - magical."

magically bizarre!


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