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Wednesday, April 8, 1998 Published at 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK



UK

The story of a Victorian genius
image: [ Illustrator Sir John Tenniel helped immortalise Lewis Carroll's Alice books (Pictures: Macmillan Children's Books) ]
Illustrator Sir John Tenniel helped immortalise Lewis Carroll's Alice books (Pictures: Macmillan Children's Books)

An exhibition celebrating the life and work of Victorian writer Lewis Carroll is one of the highlight events marking the centenary of the author's death.

On show in London from Tuesday (April 7), the exhibition will interpret the author's work through the characters of Alice In Wonderland and explore certain aspects of his life, particularly his childhood.

Lewis Carroll, the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was born in 1832. Although a brilliant mathematician, lecturer, and scholar, he is best known for his literary work.

His most famous books, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (1865) and Through The Looking-Glass (1872), are universally praised as having revolutionised children's literature.

Beyond the rabbit hole

The exhibition, at the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, promises to be both informative and entertaining, reflecting the spirit of Carroll.


[ image: Alice gets advice from the Caterpillar]
Alice gets advice from the Caterpillar
Children will get the chance to sample the worlds beyond the rabbit hole and looking glass. There will be hands-on models of the Cheshire Cat, the Duchess, the hookah-smoking Caterpillar and the Jabberwocky.

They will also be able to pose as Tweedledum and Tweedledee and, from time-to-time, may see the White Rabbit scurrying through the museum, late as ever.

Childhood obsession


[ image: Alice meets Humpty Dumpty in Through The Looking-Glass]
Alice meets Humpty Dumpty in Through The Looking-Glass
The exhibition will include items related to Carroll's work, including original sketches for Alice by Carroll himself. Engravings from the original woodblocks by the Victorian illustrator Sir John Tenniel, and later illustrators inspired by the two books, such as Ralph Steadman, will also feature.

First and early editions of Alice, political parodies such as Adolf In Blunderland and examples of Carroll's poetry will also be displayed.


[ image: Alice discovers Wonderland after chasing the White Rabbit]
Alice discovers Wonderland after chasing the White Rabbit
Facets of Lewis Carroll's life will be revealed through toys from the Dodgson family home - a croquet set and doll's house with furniture - and a selection of original letters from Carroll to parents of children he knew.

Carroll's eminence as a photographer will be evident from original photographs taken by him of Alice Liddell (Carroll's inspiration for the fictional Alice) and of his friends such as the Rossetti siblings - pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel and poet Christina.

The exhibition in Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, runs until June 25. Admission is free.








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