Episode 23A: Beckett and Susan’s Adventures in Wonderland and What They Found There

This minicast deals solely with the books: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, both by Lewis Carroll with  illustrations by John Tenniel. We take a chapter-by-chapter look at the two books, talking plot points, characters, and behind-the-story tales.

The first book carries a playing card based theme, and the latter evolves around a game of chess. But these are only the surface references within these stories, the many elements that make them up are far too numerous to be contained within even an hour long podcast. The study of them is a major undertaking. We admit it- we are not Carrollian scholars, but we do know some stuff.

For instance, some of the references in the books are only understood if you are aware of  the era in which the books were written. Some only if you are knowledgeable in the eccentricities of Oxford, England. And some only if you belonged to, or knew details of, the Dodgson or Liddell families. Even more exciting, Lewis Carroll tucked so many mathematical terms, riddles and word play into the two books seeking them out would be a fantastical hobby in and of itself.

For this minicast we go chapter by chapter and discuss not only the storyline, but some references within it. We talk about some of the characters in the book as well as some of the poem satires and forgotten characters.

Beckett does not want the poor, oft- forgotten Mock Turtle ignored.

And we might sing a little teeny tiny bit, too.

Please give a listen for more details. If you are interested in learning even more “special features” about these two works, we suggest that you begin with The Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner (with the original Alice illustrations by John Tenniel).

If you would like to see a really creative  illustration collaboration with the original text, Alice’s Illustrated Adventure is a really fun blog.  The tag line: “Written by Lewis Carroll and illustrated by Almost Everbody” sums it up.

Both books are available in audiobook form, free of charge,  in ITunes.  Simply search for the Librivox name with the title you would like. There are unabridged and abridged versions of them both.

But, be warned, that may be only the beginning of the adventure for you!!