THE OTHER ALICE by Christina Björk


The Story of Alice Liddell and Alice in Wonderland
by & translated by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 & up
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 The author of Linnea in Monet's Garden (1987) explores the connection between Alice Liddell, the book Alice, and its creator in an inviting array of anecdotes, biographical details, descriptions of the Oxford setting, photos (many by Dodgson, still renowned as a photographer of children), period illustrations, and Eriksson's precisely detailed art. Bjîrk introduces this wealth of material with an engaging account (lively with ``conversation'') of Alice's first telling on a river picnic. The bulk of the book details the peculiar ups and downs of the friendship between the child and the confirmed bachelor (whose best friends were always little girls, although there's no hint that these ties were anything but deliciously whimsical and rather cerebral), the two of whom apparently lost interest in each other as she got older (Mrs. Liddell would also, periodically and inexplicably, try to terminate a friendship that would then be reinstated with full honor). Meanwhile, much of the pair's playful interaction (especially concerning logic and numbers) was incorporated into Alice. The author wraps up her account with what happened later to the people, the books, and Oxford itself. Eriksson's profuse, exquisite illustrations are as carefully researched as the text. An entrancing portrait of the genesis of a classic, of a unique friendship, and of Victorian Oxford. Addenda include a map, family lists, puzzle solutions, ``Societies for Alice and Carroll Friends,'' and bibliographies of Dodgson's books and the author's sources. Charming. (Nonfiction. 7+)

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1993
ISBN: 91-29-62242-5
Page count: 94pp
Publisher: R&S/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1993


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