Friday, March 5, 2010

We're All Mad Here

"'In that direction,' the Cat said, waving it's right paw round, 'lives a Hatter: and in that direction,' waving the other paw, 'lives a March Hare.  Visit either you like: they're both mad.'"  Confronted with this statement, Alice decides to visit the March Hare as "perhaps as this is May it won't be raving mad - at least not so mad as it was in March."  Unfortunately for her, the March Hare and the Mad Hatter are having tea together and proceed to add to the confusion of the adventure by informing Alice that her hair "wants cutting" and by posing questions such as "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?"

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland have been illustrated by many artists, starting with John Tenniel and including Peter Newell, Arthur Rackham, and Barry Moser.  Pictured here is Moser's interpretation of the Hatter - the final published print and the original wood block.  His Hatter is a somewhat more sinister character than that depicted in Disney's 1951 film adaptation and one can believe that this gentleman has absorbed enough mercury to become "mad as a hatter."

Ask for Presses P372c to see the Pennyroyal Press edition illustrated by Barry Moser.  The original blocks for Alice and other Moser books can be found in one of our manuscript collections, ML-39.   A finding aid is available.

And of course, we can't forget Alice herself.

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