ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND Lewis Carroll
Since its first publication in 1865, Lewis Carroll's classic story of logic and lunacy has delighted young and old alike. More than that, those with the ability to read behind the words have found it a compendium of spiritual wisdom and guidance. (See The Secret History of the World to find out more.) Now, with gorgeous illustrations in a sympathetic modern-day style, this new edition is contemporary and accessible, full of warmth and humour. Alice herself is a child of today - casually dressed, personable, spirited. In Helen Oxenbury's hands, the topsy-turvy world of Wonderland is a wondrous place indeed! Bored on a hot afternoon, Alice follows a White Rabbit down a rabbit-hole without giving a thought about how she might get out. And so she tumbles into Wonderland: where animals answer back, a baby turns into a pig, time stands still at a disorderly tea party, and the Mock Turtle and Gryphon dance the Lobster Quadrille. In a land in which nothing is as it seems, will Alice be able to find her way home again?
208pp, 180mm x 210mm, illustrated, Paperback, 2009
Down the Rabbit-Hole
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice, 'without pictures or conversations?'
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid) whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, 'Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.
The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and bookshelves: here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She tool down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled ORANGE MARMALADE, but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it.
'Well!' thought Alice to herself. 'After such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!' (Which was very likely true.)
Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end? 'I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?' she said aloud. 'I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think -' (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) '-yes, that's about the right distance - but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?' (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)
She felt that she was dozing off, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with Dinah when suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of dry leaves, and the fall was over.
Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment: she looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was another long passage, and the White Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a corner, 'Oh, my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!' She was close behind it when she turned the corner, but the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she found herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the roof.
There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out again.
From Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, ?2009 by Lewis Carroll & Helen Oxenbury, published by Walker Books Ltd.
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