Upon the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, the reviewer for the Illustrated Times described Lewis Carroll’s fanciful text as “too extravagantly absurd to produce more diversion than disappointment and irritation.” The “grotesque objects” that Alice encounters serve merely to “prove the author to possess a most fertile imagination.” Yet these imaginative elements, which the reviewer finds “grotesque” and “extravagantly absurd”, emerge only within the context of Alice’s dream. It is during the dream that Alice argues with a rabbit, cries a pool of tears, meets a vanishing Cheshire cat, experiences alarming changes in size, and plays croquet using flamingos as mallets. While awake, her adventures are limited to such pleasant, but unremarkable activities as reading books, taking naps, and drinking tea.
Her adventures are not ordered; they are disordered. They are shifting and unpredictable, and there is always the menace of Gothic horror laced with the fantasies of Carroll’s fairy tale. Indeed, Alice’s dream sometimes has the aspects of a nightmare.
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You must book your ticket online using the button below. Our new venue – the Beckford Bottle Shop – is generously providing a free glass of wine and we need to know numbers attending in advance.