Alice in Real Life
June 21, 2010
The world of Wonderland just gets curiouser and curiouser. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been a smash hit every since its first publication in 1865 and such characters as the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and Queen of Hearts are as familiar as tea and biscuits. Hardly a year goes by without some new version or variant of this classic story reaching movie screens or bookshelves.
Back in 1983, an episode of PBS’ Great Performances featured a production of Alice in Wonderland featuring Colleen Dewhurst, Nathan Lane, and Eve Arden. Sixteen years later, NBC presented its own film version, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Christopher Lloyd, and Gene Wilder. And last year, SciFi broadcasted a modern take on the story, headlined by Kathy Bates and Tim Curry. DVDs of all three of these productions can be found on MCPL’s catalog.
There have been plenty of books, too! Martin Gardner has spent years researching Lewis Carroll and the real Alice. His book, The Annotated Alice, is a complete guide to the Victorian world of the story and the people, places, and props that inspired it. Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars trilogy casts Wonderland in a darker light as vanquished princess Alyss must conquer her wicked Aunt Redd to reclaim the throne. In Alice I Have Been, Melanie Benjamin gives a fictional voice to Alice Liddell Hargreaves: the woman who inspired the original story as a girl. Again, each of these titles can be located in the online catalog.
Whether it was luck, fate, old-fashioned talent, or a combination of all, Lewis Carroll has entered our public consciousness and he is not going away. Alice is everywhere, and our world just may be a Wonderland.Tags: movies, Books