Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition Hardcover – November 17, 1999
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"What is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations!"
Readers who share Alice's taste in books will be more than satisfied with The Annotated Alice, a volume that includes not only pictures and conversations, but a thorough gloss on the text as well. There may be some, like G.K. Chesterton, who abhor the notion of putting Lewis Carroll's masterpiece under a microscope and analyzing it within an inch of its whimsical life. But as Martin Gardner points out in his introduction, so much of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is composed of private jokes and details of Victorian manners and mores that modern audiences are not likely to catch. Yes, Alice can be enjoyed on its own merits, but The Annotated Alice appeals to the nosy parker in all of us. Thus we learn, for example, that the source of the mouse's tale may have been Alfred Lord Tennyson who "once told Carroll that he had dreamed a lengthy poem about fairies, which began with very long lines, then the lines got shorter and shorter until the poem ended with fifty or sixty lines of two syllables each." And that, contrary to popular belief, the Mad Hatter character was not a parody of then Prime Minister Gladstone, but rather was based on an Oxford furniture dealer named Theophilus Carter.
Gardner's annotations run the gamut from the factual and historical to the speculative and are, in their own way, quite as fascinating as the text they refer to. Occasionally, he even comments on himself, as when he quotes a fellow annotator of Alice, James Kincaid: "The historical context does not call for a gloss but the passage provides an opportunity to point out the ambivalence that may attend the central figure and her desire to grow up." And then follows with a charming riposte: "I thank Mr. Kincaid for supporting my own rambling." There's a lot of information in the margins (indeed, the page is pretty evenly divided between Carroll's text and Gardner's), but the ramblings turn out to be well worth the time. So hand over your old copy of Lewis Carroll's classic to the kids--this Alice in Wonderland is intended entirely for adults. --Alix Wilber
From Library Journal
Clarkson Potter published The Annotated Alice in 1960, and Gardner published the sequel More Annotated Alice in 1990. Here, Gardner combines and expands both to produce The Definitive Edition. This presents the full texts of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, and "The Wasp in a Wig," a "suppressed" chapter of Looking-Glass. Each of these texts is accompanied by a lengthy marginal commentary that identifies historical and literary references and allusions, explains Carroll's logical and mathematical puzzles, and interprets colloquialisms and idiomatic expressions. Gardner's commentary is sufficiently detailed to be informative without burdening Alice with excessive pedantic baggage. The Definitive Edition also includes Tenniel's original illustrations and an exhaustive annotated list by David Shaefer of Alice on the screen. This is a happy contribution to those who appreciate Lewis Carroll.
-Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, GA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Furthermore, considering it contains both books, plus the excellent Hunting of the Snark, it is a fantastic price.
However, there are still some glaring mistakes, such as some formatting bugs in a few of the poems and spelling errors in places (such as at the start of Looking Glass, where some of the Ls are replaced with 1s - I guess a scanner did the 'writing here').
5 stars for the great price and superior formatting over the other options. -1 star for the glaring lack of proof reading from the publisher.
Dali's art is not everything what this edition has to offer. There are two pieces of introduction which I found very interesting. First one is written by Mark Burstain explaining why the surrealists were so interested in Carroll book and the second one of Thomas Banchoff who actually met with Dali many times and provided us with some of stories about the genius. Both of them helped me better understand the madness of Dali, or as Carroll and the surrealists preferred to address: the wisdom.
This book is part of a line of "premium" editions of classic literature published by Barnes & Noble. It has a fancy cover, gilt edging to the pages, and a ribbon bookmark, but typically sells for about what you'd expect to pay for an edition in trade paperback format. The way they're able to accomplish this is by cutting corners on manufacturing quality. The book I received, for example, had some unevenness in the page trim (not enough to be too unsightly, but it was noticeable). But don't be too put off by that statement... when you're paying 1/5 of the price that most sellers of premium editions would charge (I'm thinking of Easton Press, as an example), you have to expect some short cuts.
The cover art is very appealing and makes the book stand out from others on the shelf, both for the pink color and the whimsical artwork. Since most people buy premium editions in order to have them look good on the shelf, this is an important feature, and in my opinion this edition succeeds admirably in that department. The interior art consists of classic Alice illustrations that are typically about 1/3 of a page in size. The art is crisp and clear (no blurry lines). The page layout and typesetting is standard hardcover book quality, as you'd expect. The most noticeable deficit is in the evenness of the page gilding, some of which stems from the previously mentioned uneven page cuts. Again, I emphasize that that this doesn't really detract from the overall appearance of the book... it's just something that you notice if you inspect the edge.
I can't say how durable this book will be in the long run; I expect it will be comparable to most hardcover books. If you want to buy a nice copy of Lewis Carroll's works, perhaps to read to your children and then pass down to them when they have children of their own, I don't think this would be a bad choice.
I loved it as a kid and I still love it now, even though I still don't connect to all those malaprop'ed British nursery rhymes in the text.