A five-day programme of events at Homerton College, Cambridge, will celebrate the publication, 150 years ago, of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Here, Dr Zoe Jaques, a lecturer in children’s literature, explores images of Alice from the first edition onwards. 

Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece was first published in July 1865 and has never been out of print. Its remarkable appeal is marked this week by a programme of events based at Homerton College, Cambridge. The five-day celebration includes a conference, film-screenings, performances and a children’s tea party. Some events are open to the general public.

Wonderland Week at Homerton College has been organised by a small team led by Dr Zoe Jaques and Professor Maria Nikolajeva from the Faculty of Education. Jaques’ research explores the ways in which Alice in Wonderland is “more than just a book”.  Alice was based on a real-life girl, Alice Liddell, but became an icon of girlhood subject to constant transformation.

In the accompanying audio slide show, Jaques discusses representations of Alice – right from the John Tenniel drawings used to illustrate the first edition to portrayals by contemporary illustrators such as Barry Moser, Anthony Browne and Helen Oxenbury.  She shows how Alice’s age and looks have been skilfully reimagined to fit with changing audiences. 

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