|One of the many thousands of editions|
The 4th of July is right around the corner -- Independence Day, one of the most important days in our calendar here in the US. But the date is important for another reason, too. July 4, 1862, is traditionally remembered as the day Charles Dodgson (aka, Lewis Carroll) first began telling his tale of Wonderland to the ten-year-old Alice Liddell, as they were rowing (along with her two sisters and the Reverend Robinson Duckworth) on the Thames near Oxford. A fateful day, indeed.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its companion book, Through the Looking-Glass, were my favorite books when I was a child; and I still love them and still re-read them from time to time. And since this is a commemorative year (the first Alice book was published 150 years ago, in 1865), I thought I'd use an Alice quote for my teaser this week. This snippet is from Chapter VI ("Pig and Pepper") -- Alice has been holding the Duchess's crying baby, but notices that it seems to be turning into a pig (yes, an actual pig -- that sort of thing happens a lot in Wonderland):
So she set the little creature down, and felt quite relieved to see it trot away quietly into the wood. 'If it had grown up,' she said to herself, 'it would have made a dreadfully ugly child: but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.' And she began thinking over other children she knew, who might do very well as pigs, and was just saying to herself, 'if one only knew the right way to change them—' when she was a little startled by seeing the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off.The Alice books are true classics that appeal to both young and older readers, and so much literature and art references them. If you haven't read them, you're really missing something.
|Alice with pig baby. Drawing by John Tenniel.|
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