Dec 16

A New Alice in the Old Wonderland, Anna Matlack Richards’ 1895 novel in sequel to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, is now available from Evertype.

From the back cover:

First published in 1895 in Philadelphia, thirty years after the initial publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anna Matlack Richards’ A New Alice in the Old Wonderland is a splendid and worthy successor to Lewis Carroll’s original tales. Instead of Alice Liddell, it is Alice Lee who makes her way to Wonderland…

Richly illustrated in the style of John Tenniel by the author’s daughter, this book will delight any reader thirsting for a new adventure in Carroll’s wondrous world.

“I’m delighted to learn that A New Alice is in print again… I’ve read dozens of ‘Alice imitations’ in the course of my work, but Richards’ remains my favorite.” —Carolyn Sigler

From the Foreword:

Anna Matlack Richards (1835–1900) was a poet, playwright, and author, a Pennsylvania Quaker whose reputation as a poet had been established by the time she was twenty. At twenty-one, she married William Trost Richards, and both he and their daughter, Anna Richards Brewster, were American artists of some renown. Richards was fifty-five when she published her children’s fantasy, A New Alice in the Old Wonderland. Although an imitation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, it is also subtly critical of them, and its gentle satire is reflected in the sensitive illustrations in the style of Tenniel drawn by Anna Brewster. Carolyn Sigler has written on this aspect of A New Alice, which she considers outstanding among Alice imitations.

The judgement of critics, of course, does not affect the story. It is a pleasant task to edit a century-old book for re-publication and a new generation of readers. Here, as in my other editions of Alice books, I have kept to the book design inspired by Martin Gardiner’s Annotated Alice. I have edited certain features in Anna Richards’ text of 1895, in order to bring it closer to modern tastes in format and language. I have normalized “Your Majesty” to “your Majesty” and followed Carroll’s example in similar cases. I have preferred the more modern “eh?” to “hey?”, “recipe” to “receipt”, “curtsey” to “courtesy”, and “Jew’s harp” to “jewsharp”. I have regularized the capitalization of nouns in “Der leedle Johann Schmaus”. Where Richards follows Websterian spelling, I have altered to Oxford orthography. In places, Anna Richards’ 19th-century punctuation has been altered to conform to modern practice.

I have also edited out two notable features of the author’s dialect: Humpty Dumpty’s “should ’a’ been” for “should have been” and “hadn’t ’a’ had” for “hadn’t had” (neither warranted by Through the Looking-Glass); and the third-person present singular use of “don’t” for “doesn’t” through out. These dialect features are distinctively American (my mother’s mother, born in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1915, also used “don’t” for “doesn’t”) and seemed out of place in Lewis Carroll’s very English Wonderland. On the other hand, I have retained Richards’ use of Irish dialect by the workers (p. 102) and by the King of Clubs (p. 138); Irish immigrant dialect would have been well-known to Richards, though is unclear whether Richards’ use of Irish English is intended to convey positive or negative connotations, or if it’s just there for flavour.

Finally, since people are sure to ask… I felt that Carroll’s preference in writing “ca’n’t”, “sha’n’t”, and “wo’n’t” would be good for the conceit.

Michael Everson
Westport, 22 November 2009

Dec 10

Nautilus, a new novel in sequel to Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas and The Mysterious Island, by Craig Weatherhill, is now available from Evertype.

From the back cover:

On a doomed volcanic island in the southern Pacific, a group of American castaways commit the body of an enigmatic genius to the deep, along with the secrets of an extraordinary life…
the Deep Watch environmental ship Aurora mysteriously sinks with all hands in remote Antarctic waters and a subsequent oceanic sequence of strange sightings, antique gold bars and damaged ships blazes a trail around the world. Separate investigations by journalist Barrington Hobbes and Naval Intelligence officer Donall Lindsay lead both towards extreme danger on land and sea, a worldwide ecological conspiracy… … and an avenging legend!

Dec 08

Alice’s Adventures under Ground by Lewis Carroll now available from Evertype. The book has been newly-typeset and contains the original illustrations by Lewis Caroll.

From the introduction:

Lewis Carroll, the pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was tutor in Mathematics in Christ Church, Oxford. He took a trip on 4 July 1862 in a rowing boat on the Thames in Oxford with the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church (she was ten years old), and with her two sisters, Lorina (thirteen), and Edith (eight). The three sisters asked Dodgson to tell them a story, and, reluctantly at first, he related the earliest version of this tale to them.

In 1865 the story in its finished form was published as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Two years before that, however, on 26 November 1864, Dodgson gave Alice the handwritten manuscript of Alice’s Adventures under Ground, illustrated by Dodgson himself. At Christmas 1886 a facsimile edition of the manuscript was published. Several further facsimile editions have since appeared, and in them all, Dodgson’s careful handwriting can be seen.
This edition sets the text in type, thus making it easier to read than in facsimile. It is certainly well worth reading, although it is shorter than the final form of the story—Alice’s Adventures under Ground is just over 15,500 words in length, whereas Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is nearly twice as long, containing about 27,500 words. Here, as in my other editions of Alice books, I have kept to the book design inspired by Martin Gardiner’s Annotated Alice. Since this is a typeset edition, capital letters are used regularly at the beginning of quoted speech even though they are often omitted in the manu script; some other punctuation has been normalized. Many of these changes are also found in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

This edition also contains Carroll’s introductory essay “Who will Riddle me the How and the Why?” and, as appendices, his “Easter Greetings” and “Christmas Greet ings” to children. These were also published in the 1868 printed edition.

In the original manuscript, a photograph of Alice Liddell had been pasted in at the end of the story. It was discovered recently that beneath this photograph was a portrait of Alice, drawn by Lewis Carroll himself. Both photograph and hand-drawn picture are reproduced here opposite each other on pages 63 and 64.

“It must be a very pretty dance,” said Alice timidly.
“Would you like to see a little of it?” said the Mock Turtle.
“Very much indeed,” said Alice.
“Come, let’s try the first figure!” said the Mock Turtle to the Gryphon, “We can do it without lobsters, you know. Which shall sing?”
“Oh! You sing!” said the Gryphon, “I’ve forgotten the words.” So they began solemnly dancing round and round Alice, every now and then treading on her toes when they came too close, and waving their fore-paws to mark the time, while the Mock Turtle sang, slowly and sadly…

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