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on 28 July 2009
People tend to lump "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass (and What Alice Found There)" into one collection which has taken on the new title of "Alice in Wonderland". This is probably a product of the movies, which took bits and pieces from each and made a composite adventure. This was possible, because Lewis Carroll (a.k.a. Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) managed to make the stories so even in quality that they can be put together seamlessly. He also managed to keep the stories enough different, that one can still enjoy reading both of them one after the other, without the feeling that the second is just a retelling of the first.

To be sure, there are several ways in which the stories are similar, but not to the point where it detracts from the reader's enjoyment of the story. There are only three characters which appear in both books, one of which is Alice. The other notable characters (the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, etc.) are well distributed between the two books. Thus there is a looking-glass between the two, just as the looking-glass plays such a key role in the second book.

The Penguin Classics edition of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass" includes both books including the illustrations by John Tenniel. It also includes the original "Alice's Adventures under Ground" which includes Lewis Carroll's artwork. For additional features, it includes `"Alice" on the Stage' an article which Lewis Carroll wrote after seeing a production of the stage version, and it includes preface's to the books which Lewis Carroll wrote in 1896 for the 1897 editions. There are wonderful notes for both books, and a very informative introduction by Hugh Haughton. There is other supporting material as well. To sum up, this edition has pretty much anything one could want, other than a complete collection of Carroll's work.

A last comment on the introduction, it covers the biographical information for Reverend Dodgson, and the information on how the stories came about. Some of this information may detract from one's enjoyment of the story, but one can certainly understand the decision to include it for those who are interested in Reverend Dodgson and his life. All in all, this edition is packed with everything and will suit those who just want to read the stories as well as those who want to delve deep into their origins.
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Everyone thinks they know about Alice in Wonderland - my own 'knowledge' comes from years of obsessive viewing of the superlative Disney feature as a child - but this terrific little book will prove you wrong. There are enough notes in here to keep even the most apathetic reader pacified; and the book is designed in such a way that the notes aid the reader, rather than becoming a constant pain. Presented alongside the text (reproduced with original Tenniel drawings of the characters) the notes are immediate and gripping, and whether you are studying this book or merely reading it for pleasure, i can thoroughly reccommend this edition. Well worth your money and your time.
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on 17 December 2014
Be warned that this edition doesn't have any of the colour plates (which I miss because I absolutely loved them when I had the book as a child). Otherwise it is very nice, and has lots of black and white illustrations, beautifully laid out.
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on 5 October 2001
'The Annotated Alice' is one of the best deconstructions of the Alice books that I have encountered. Gardner shows his extensive knowledge on these marvellous books with fluent and articulate ease, whilst managing to not to distract from the original texts. Both 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There' are superbly annotated and provide an interesting and informative perspective of the books. The vast and complex subtexts of Dodgson's finest works are explored intricately and the levels of nuance will undoubtably appeal to both children (who will be rapt by the background history to the Alice books and the parodies of well-known verse) and adults (who will be fascinated by the startling complexities, mathematical implications and political references that Gardner reveals). All in all, along with the riveting introduction, Martin Gardner portrays himself as one of the difinitive experts of the most famous children's books ever written.
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on 29 March 1999
This is Martin Gardner's classic edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking-Glass, annotated to explain, for the modern reader, the wealth of hidden references in the books: mathematics, chess, logic, Victorian politics, the original poems Carroll parodied, and much more.
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on 3 October 2001
I read the original text of Carroll's masterpiece when I was 18 years old (I'm 22 now). I knew only interpretations made by Russian writers before. They were funny but not comparable to the original. So I enjoyed myself from the first page of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland to the last of Through The Looking Glass. The book is so brilliant, full of clever humor, paradoxes and parodies. The so-called "nonsense" is very amusing and by no means without sense. Of course I sometimes missed meanings of Carroll's parodies and allusions. Later I read different references and explanations. The searching of meaning made the book even more interesting in my eyes. There is no need in mentioning characters of both books for they are widely known, but I can't stand the temptation. First of all - Alice herself. She is such a charming and sensible young lady. I laughed a lot at her thoughts and commentaries to the events. And then White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, March Hare, Caterpillar, Cheshire Cat, Mock Turtle, strange birds, the intelligent Mouse, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Humpty Dumpty, Duchess, King and Queen of Hearts, etc - they are creations of true genius. I also liked immensely Carroll's poems included in the books. I often notice that I am repeating lines from them. As for my favourite The Walrus And The Carpenter, I know it by heart. Wit, fantasy and magic make Alice's Adventures a superb children's book as well as a source of great pleasure for adults. Classical illustrations add more charm to this addition. I prefer them to more modern images (by Disney for example).
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on 10 October 2009
This is a VERY beautiful book.
I am guilty of often buying more than one copy of a book, one to read and one to keep.
This is one I would try to keep in good condition.
It has the original illustrations in it, looks like an 'old' book, one that would grace any library in a gothic type mansion.
As a book lover, I don;t just enjoy reading them, I enjoy collecting beautiful books too, and this is one of them.
I won;t comment on the story as, I suspect anyone looking at this knows the story very well but, if you want a beautiful book that you'll want to keep safe forever, this is certainly one.
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on 27 June 2013
I'm a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland and have purchased various editions over the years but this is hands down my favourite. I bought it as a gift for my niece but it was just too nice to give away so I kept it for myself!!
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on 23 January 2001
I picked this book up again aged 26 having not read it for 15 years and it transported me to a magical, mystical world where anything was possible! Lewis Carroll's classic tale of childhood fantasy is a must read for all children and adults alike! Carroll's art lies in description...allow him to indulge you in tales of Mad Hatters having tea parties with White Rabbits in the woods, the terrifying Queen of Hearts threatening to behead the body-less Cheshire Cat and lotions and potions saying 'Drink Me'...will she grow or will she shrink...read the book to find out!
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on 27 September 2006
These are two of the greatest books ever written. They are, of course, not nonsense. They may have been written for children, but their appeal to any reasonably perceptive adult is so intense that those who have fallen under their spell can practically recite the entire texts of both. In fact, they constitute profoundly penetrating statements, or summaries, of the human condition: physical in Wonderland, and intellectual in Looking-Glass. They do not ramble. Every word, every incident, has been chosen with the utmost precision. Tenniel's illustrations are inspired perfection, and the result of prolonged and dedicated collaboration between author and artist. They will never be improved upon, although many have attempted to replace them with their own images. Wonderland is, in effect, an analysis of the significance and sensations of growth and discovery in the development of a human being, advancing from childhood into adolescence. Starting with the trauma of birth, it describes the experience of adjustment to the world of adults, but succeeds nevertheless in demonstrating that adult society is nothing but a construction of charades --- a house of cards. Looking-Glass raises perennial philosophical questions, such as what is reality? what do words actually mean? what is the nature of time, and identity? Does the world consist of as much anti-matter as matter? It is an extraordinarily compressed summary of the riddles of thought and existence. These works are absolute masterpieces of writing: two of the most sophisticated productions ever penned during the late Victorian era. At the same time they are uniquely readable, witty and amusing.
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