Issue Date: 06/01/2015
Issue Name: Alice in Wonderland - The Red Queen
Producer: Buckingham Covers
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s classic book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Mail commissioned illustrator Grahame Baker-Smith to illustrate ten key scenes from the book. Our cover features a beautiful illustration of Alice meeting the Red Queen and features four of the 10 stamps.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 150th Anniversary
It was a not really a golden afternoon when they set off for a picnic up the river. It was overcast and cloudy as that the three young sisters, Edith, Alice and Lorina Liddell accompanied by the Reverend Robin Ducksworth and the Reverend Charles Dodgson took a rowing boat up the River Isis from Folly Bridge to Godstow. As they rowed along, the Reverend Dodgson began a story about a bored little girl called Alice who went looking for adventures. The girls loved it and Alice asked him to write it down for her. He began the very next day, although that earliest version is lost. A month later, there was another boat trip and the story was developed a bit more and that winter, Dodgson began to write the proper story. To add the finishing touches he researched natural history for the animals presented in the book, and then he tried out the book on other children to see if they liked it too.
On 26 November 1864 he gave Alice a handwritten manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, with his own illustrations. He dedicated it as "A Christmas Gift to a Dear Child in Memory of a Summer's Day". But before Alice received her copy, Dodgson was already preparing it for publication. He approached John Tenniel, a well-known British illustrator, graphic humourist and political cartoonist, to illustrate the book for publication, telling him that the story had been well liked by all the children. He revised and developed the story, adding two of the most famous episodes, the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter’s Tea-Party.
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Michael Jayston is an English actor and has signed this lovely cover for us.