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The Complete Alice in Wonderland (Wonderland Imprints Master Editions)

Lewis Carroll


  Kindle Master Editions

  Volume I

  Comprising the Unabridged Texts of:

  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

  Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There

  Alice’s Adventures Under Ground

  The Nursery “Alice”

  The Hunting of the Snark

  By Lewis Carroll

  With Kent David Kelly

  A collection of the works of Lewis Carroll, uniquely annotated. This collection and all essays are copyright 2010 by Kent David Kelly.

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author.

  Printed in the United States of America

  Distributed by Wonderland Imprints

  Attn: Kent David Kelly

  [email protected]


  Return to the Beginning of the Book

  Table of Contents

  Introduction to the Master Edition

  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

  Reflections on Alice in Wonderland

  Through the Looking-Glass

  The Wasp in a Wig

  Reflections on the Looking-Glass

  Alice's Adventures Under Ground

  Reflections on the Under Ground

  The Nursery “Alice”

  Reflections on the Nursery “Alice”

  The Hunting of the Snark

  Reflections on the Snark

  Beyond Wonderland



  By Kent David Kelly

  ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND is—deservedly—one of the best-loved books in all the world. It is a triumph not only of the imagination, but also of wit, humor, logical paradox, and the ageless appeal of Victorian charm. Excellent editions of this most excellent book are to be discovered everywhere. Finding a quality electronic version of Alice is, however, a confounding exercise in futility.

  Many of the electronic editions are hastily produced, poorly formatted, unedited, or even incomplete. Worse, the abbreviated title Alice in Wonderland can refer to both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There; or, only the first book; or, incomplete excerpts of each (and often without any publisher clarification on the matter). Due to these well-intentioned yet oddly universal mistakes in the world of electronic publishing, a need was seen for one definitive Kindle Master Edition of the Alice works, created and formatted specifically for the Kindle.

  As a Kindle owner and devotee myself, I am very sympathetic to the peculiar woes which readers suffer as a result of over-exposure to amateurish electronic documents. The problems in such works often include (but are by no means limited to): spelling errors; font size issues; character identification issues (such as “w” appearing as “vv,” or the word “corner” as “comer”); forced hyphenation breaks; indentation and spacing issues; spurious pagination; nonexistent tables of contents; a lack of uniquely-created backing matter (glossaries, research essays, endnotes, etc.); incomplete front matter; footnote errors; illustration errors (or no illustrations at all); missing poetry or paragraphs; absent or profligate italics, and much, much more. “Curiouser and curiouser” indeed! In the interests of reader sanity, I have endeavored to make The Complete Alice in Wonderland as correct, complete, user friendly, and simply enjoyable as possible.

  Beyond such assuaged frustrations, of course, good readers also demand Master Editions of the texts themselves! In this regard, I have offered not only Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but also Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Further, this edition includes Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (the first draft of Wonderland), The Wasp in a Wig (a long-lost chapter of Through the Looking-Glass), The Nursery “Alice” (an abridged but enlightening supplementary text of the original story), and The Hunting of the Snark (with explanatory notes from Lewis Carroll, revealing its relevance to Wonderland). I trust that the inclusion of these rarer works will provide the Alice devotee with a fascinating and far more inclusive understanding of Wonderland, Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell herself, which the two common “core” books alone cannot hope to satisfy.

  Of course, these works in and of themselves do not tell the entire story. I have also specially written many essays and background articles to support and illuminate Carroll’s masterpieces. These essays include chronologies, biographies, explanatory notes, and a complete glossary of unfamiliar Carrolliana and Victoriana. Additional relevant materials, such as diary entries, letters, period articles and quotations (from Carroll, Alice and others) are included as well. I can certainly guarantee that any Alice fan or Carrollian scholar reading this edition—regardless of their age or their own adventures—will find a muchness of treasures they have never seen before!

  Considering the magnitude of this research, writing and editing project, mistakes are certain to creep in. (Perfection, Carroll himself might say, is our unreachable destination; but error is our ongoing journey.) If you, the reader, have any corrections, recommended additions, or simply a comment concerning this work and its supporting materials, your feedback is always welcome! I will be more than happy to attribute those who assist in this

  “perfecting” endeavor (by name or username, as you prefer) in a future edition of this work.

  In this regard, please feel free to visit me at my author page on Amazon (, my Facebook site (, or the page specifically crafted for The Complete Alice in Wonderland. I am also the author of the Carrollian-Lovecraftian “mash-up,” Cthulhu in Wonderland: The Madness of Alice, for those who are interested in further exploration of the darkly humorous nature of insanity ( You can of course also reach me personally at any time via e-mail, at [email protected].

  An electronic text, of course, will always have its own advantages and disadvantages—all of them considerable. For those Alice fanatics (like me!) who would prefer to own the finest hardcopy versions as well, I can unreservedly recommend The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition, and The Annotated Hunting of the Snark, both written by Martin Gardner. Mister Gardner’s insights into Carroll’s texts are meticulous, brilliant and fascinating. Even better, he has a tremendous respect for Carroll’s favored illustrators, John Tenniel and Henry Holiday. These annotated editions are beautiful and are wonderful additions to any library.

  Proper editions of The Nursery “Alice” and Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, however, are much harder to come by, but can occasionally be discovered in quality used bookstores. Another good (but not excellent) book, The Complete Illustrated Works of Lewis Carroll, is of use, but it is far from perfect, and misleading in its title. To my knowledge, The Complete Alice in Wonderland you are now reading is the only work in existence which compiles, supports and annotates all of the “Alice” stories in a single source.

  With all that said, I have only one more e-text peeve to confide to you: that of long introductions! And so, without further ado, I welcome you to The Complete Alice in Wonderland. Enjoy your adventures alongside Alice, and do remember:

  “Of course you’re mad. Or else you wouldn’t have come here.”

  Onward and downward, into Wonderland!



  Introduction: The Creation of Alice

  By Kent David Kelly

  ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND is a beloved and ageless classic. Indeed, it is one of the most popular, enduring and fondly-quoted books in all the world. Its beginnings, however, were exceedingly humble. If not for the stubborn insistence of a very intelligent and endearing little girl—one Alice Pleasance Liddell—we would not possess this treasury of Victorian wit and humor at all!

  The story of Alice was first improvised as it was spoken, in 1862, by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (who we know today by his pen name, Lewis Carroll). One summer day, Carroll was out on a boating jaunt with his good friend Robinson Duckworth, and three “Liddell” girls: Lorina, Edith and Alice Pleasance.

  On July 4, Carroll made the following entry in his diary:

  “Duckworth and I made an expedition up the river to Godstow with the 3 Liddells: we had tea on the bank there, and did not reach Christ Church again till 1/2 past 8, when we took them on to my rooms to see my collection of micro-photographs, and restored them to the Deanery [their home], just before 9.”

  Robinson Duckworth’s own reminiscences of that fateful day were as follows:

  “I was very closely associated with him [Lewis Carroll] in the production and publication of Alice in Wonderland. I rowed stroke and he rowed bow in the famous Long Vacation voyage to Godstow, when the three Miss Liddells were our passengers, and the story was actually composed and spoken over my shoulder for the benefit of Alice Liddell, who was acting as ‘cox’ of our gig. I remember turning round and saying, ‘Dodgson, is this an extempore romance of yours?’ And he replied, ‘Yes, I’m inventing as we go along.’ I also well remember how, when we had conducted the three children back to the Deanery, Alice said, as she bade us good-night, ‘Oh, Mr. Dodgson, I wish you would write out Alice’s adventures for me.’ He said he should try, and he afterwards told me that he sat up nearly the whole night, committing to a MS. book his recollections of the drolleries with which he had enlivened the afternoon. He added illustrations of his own, and presented the volume, which used often to be seen on the drawing-room table at the Deanery.”

  In retrospect, Alice’s memories of those golden summer days may be the most important of all. Later in life, she explained the secret of her stories in this way:

  “Most of Mr. Dodgson’s stories were told to us on river expeditions to Nuneham or Godstow, near Oxford. My eldest sister, now Mrs. Skene, was ‘Prima,’ [Latin, roughly translated as ‘first daughter,’ or ‘eldest’] I was ‘Secunda,’ [‘second’] and ‘Tertia’ [‘third’] was my sister Edith. I believe the beginning of Alice was told one summer afternoon when the sun was so burning that we had landed in the meadows down [sic] the river, deserting the boat to take refuge in the only bit of shade to be found, which was under a new-made hayrick. Here from all three came the old petition of ‘tell us a story,’ and so began the ever-delightful tale.

  “Sometimes to tease us—and perhaps being really tired—Mr. Dodgson would stop suddenly and say, ‘And that’s all till next time.’ ‘Ah, but it is next time,’ would be the exclamation from all three; and after some persuasion the story would start afresh.

  “Another day, perhaps the story would begin in the boat, and Mr. Dodgson, in the middle of telling a thrilling adventure, would pretend to go fast asleep, to our great dismay.”

  Carroll, we know now, was indeed growing weary of the endless storytelling, as he wrote this aside in his diary on August 6, 1862: “... Had to go on with my interminable fairy-tale of ‘Alice’s Adventures.’” We are fortunate that he did so, and that Alice persisted in asking for more stories!

  Surely, the tale would have died if Alice had not insisted on its immortality. Captain Caryl Hargreaves (Alice’s son), sharing his mother’s memoirs with the world in 1932, revealed the following additional secrets which bring us fuller understanding:

  “Nearly all of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground [the first draft of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland] was told on that blazing summer afternoon with the heat haze shimmering over the meadows where the party landed to shelter for a while in the shadow cast by the haycocks near Godstow. I [Alice] think the stories he told us that afternoon must have been better than usual, because I have such a distinct recollection of the expedition, and also, on the next day I started to pester him to write down the story for me, which I had never done before. It was due to my ‘going on, going on’ and importunity that, after saying he would think about it, he eventually gave the hesitating promise which started him writing it down at all.

  It was only long after Carroll and Alice became famous—indeed, timeless and unforgettable—that Carroll set forth his own full awareness of the importance of those lost summer days. It is with his most heartfelt and revelatory words that our understanding comes to its fulfillment:

  “Many a day had we rowed together on that quiet stream—the three little maidens and I—and many a fairy tale had been extemporised for their benefit—whether it were at times when the narrator was ‘i’ the vein,’ and fancies unsought came crowding thick upon him, or at times when the jaded Muse was goaded into action, and plodded meekly on, more because she had to say something than that she had something to say—yet none of these many tales got written down: they lived and died, like summer midges, each in its own golden afternoon until there came a day when, as it chanced, one of my little listeners petitioned that the tale might be written out for her. That was many a year ago, but I distinctly remember, now as I write, how, in a desperate attempt to strike out some new line of fairy-lore, I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole, to begin with, without the least idea what was to happen afterwards. And so, to please a child I loved (I don’t remember any other motive), I printed in manuscript, and illustrated with my own crude designs—designs that rebelled against every law of Anatomy or Art (for I had never had a lesson in drawing)—the book which I have just had published in facsimile. In writing it out, I added many fresh ideas, which seemed to grow of themselves upon the original stock; and many more added themselves when, years afterwards, I wrote it all over again for publication: but (this may interest some readers of ‘Alice’ to know) every such idea and nearly every word of the dialogue, came of itself. Sometimes an idea comes at night, when I have had to get up and strike a light to note it down—sometimes when out on a lonely winter walk, when I have had to stop, and with half-frozen fingers jot down a few words which should keep the new-born idea from perishing—but whenever or however it comes, it comes of itself. I cannot set invention going like a clock, by any voluntary winding up: nor do I believe that any original writing (and what other writing is worth preserving?) was ever so produced. ... ‘Alice’ and the ‘Looking-Glass’ are made up almost wholly of bits and scraps, single ideas which came of themselves. Poor they may have been; but at least they were the best I had to offer ...”

  “Stand forth, then, from the shadowy past, ‘Alice,’ the child of my dreams. Full many a year has slipped away, since that ‘golden afternoon’ that gave thee birth, but I can call it up almost as clearly as if it were yesterday—the cloudless blue above, the watery mirror below, the boat drifting idly on its way, the tinkle of the drops that fell from the oars, as they waved so sleepily to and fro, and (the one bright gleam of life in all the slumberous scene) the three eager faces, hungry for news of fairy-land, and who would not be said ‘nay’ to: from whose lips ‘tell us a story, please,’ had all the stern immutability of Fate!”





  With Illustrations By


  Preface to the Seventy-Ninth Thousand

  AS ALICE is about to appear on the Stage, and as the lines beginning: “’tis the voice of the Lobster” were found to be too fragmentary for dramatic purposes four lines have been added to the first stanza and six to the second, while the
Oyster has been developed into a Panther.

  Christmas, 1886

  Preface to the Eighty-Sixth Thousand

  ENQUIRIES have been so often addressed to me, as to whether any answer to the Hatter’s Riddle can be imagined, that I may as well put on record here what seems to me to be a fairly appropriate answer, vis. “Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is nevar (sic, intentional by the author as “raven” written backwards) put with the wrong end in front! This, however, is merely an afterthought: the Riddle, as originally invented, had no answer at all.

  For this eighty-sixth thousand, fresh electrotypes have been taken from the wood-blocks (which, never having been used for printing from, are in as good condition as when first cut in 1865), and the whole book has been set up afresh with new type. If the artistic qualities of this re-issue fall short, in any particular, of those possessed by the original issue, it will not be for want of painstaking on the part of author, publisher, or printer.

  I take this opportunity of announcing that the Nursery “Alice,” hitherto priced at four shillings, net, is now to be had on the same terms as the ordinary shilling picture-books—although I feel sure that it is, in every quality (except the text itself, on which I am not qualified to pronounce), greatly superior to them. Four shillings was a perfectly reasonable price to charge, considering the very heavy initial outlay I had incurred: still, as the Public have practically said “We will not give more than a shilling for a picture-book, however artistically got-up,” I am content to reckon my outlay on the book as so much dead loss, and, rather than let the little ones, for whom it was written, go without it, I am selling it at a price which is, to me, much the same thing as giving it away.