Alice in Wonderland

Publication history

In 1865, Dodgson's tale was published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by "Lewis Carroll" with illustrations by John Tenniel. The first print run of 2,000 was held back because Tenniel objected to the print quality.[33] A new edition, released in December of the same year, but carrying an 1866 date, was quickly printed. The text blocks of the original edition were removed from the binding and sold with Dodgson's permission to the New York publishing house of D. Appleton & Company. The binding for the Appleton Alice was virtually identical to the 1866 Macmillan Alice, except for the publisher's name at the foot of the spine. The title page of the Appleton Alice was an insert cancelling the original Macmillan title page of 1865, and bearing the New York publisher's imprint and the date 1866.

The entire print run sold out quickly. Alice was a publishing sensation, beloved by children and adults alike. Among its first avid readers were Queen Victoria and the young Oscar Wilde. The book has never been out of print. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has been translated into at least 174 languages.[34] There have now been over a hundred English-language editions of the book, as well as countless adaptations in other media, especially theatre and film.

The book is commonly referred to by the abbreviated title Alice in Wonderland, which has been popularised by the numerous stage, film and television adaptations of the story produced over the years. Some printings of this title contain both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.

Publication timeline

The following list is a timeline of major publication events related to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:

  • 1865: First UK edition (the second printing).
  • 1865: First US edition (the first printing of above).[35]
  • 1869: Alice's Abenteuer im Wunderland[36] is published in German translation by Antonie Zimmermann.
  • 1869: Aventures d'Alice au pays des merveilles[37] is published in French translation by Henri Bué.
  • 1870: Alice's Äventyr i Sagolandet[38] is published in Swedish translation by Emily Nonnen.
  • 1871: Dodgson meets another Alice during his time in London, Alice Raikes, and talks with her about her reflection in a mirror, leading to another book, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, which sells even better.
  • 1872: Le Avventure di Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie[39] is published in Italian translation by Teodorico Pietrocòla Rossetti.
  • 1882: Selchow & Righter publishes The Game of Alice in Wonderland, the first game based on the book.
  • 1886: Carroll publishes a facsimile of the earlier Alice's Adventures Under Ground manuscript.
  • 1890: Carroll publishes The Nursery "Alice", a special edition "to be read by Children aged from Nought to Five".
  • 1905: Mrs J. C. Gorham publishes Alice's Adventures in Wonderland retold in words of one syllable in a series of such books published by A. L. Burt Company, aimed at young readers.
  • 1906: First translation into Finnish by Anni Swan (Liisan seikkailut ihmemaailmassa).
  • 1907: Copyright on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland expires in UK, and so the tale enters the public domain. At least 8 new editions are published in that year alone.[40]
  • 1910: La Aventuroj de Alicio en Mirlando is published in Esperanto translation by E. L. Kearney.
  • 1916: Publication of the first edition of the Windermere Series, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Illustrated by Milo Winter.
  • 1928: The manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground that Carroll wrote and illustrated and that he had given to Alice Liddell was sold at Sotheby's on 3 April. It sold to Philip Rosenbach for £15,400, a world record for the sale of a manuscript at the time.[41]
  • 1960: American writer Martin Gardner publishes a special edition, The Annotated Alice, incorporating the text of both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. It has extensive annotations explaining the hidden allusions in the books, and includes full texts of the Victorian era poems parodied in them. Later editions expand on these annotations.
  • 1961: The Folio Society publication with 42 illustrations by John Tenniel.
  • 1988: Carroll and Anthony Browne, illustrator of a new edition from Julia MacRae Books, win the Kurt Maschler Award, or the Emil, for the year's best British "work of imagination for children, in which text and illustration are integrated so that each enhances and balances the other."[42]
  • 1998: Lewis Carroll's own copy of Alice, one of only six surviving copies of the 1865 first edition, is sold at an auction for US$1.54 million to an anonymous American buyer, becoming the most expensive children's book (or 19th-century work of literature) ever sold, up to that time.[43]
  • 1999: Carroll and Helen Oxenbury, illustrator of a new edition from Walker Books, win the Kurt Maschler Award for integrated writing and illustration, as did Anthony Browne and the 1988 Julia MacRae edition.[42]
  • 2007: For the 50th anniversary of the British Kate Greenaway Medal (1955–2005), a panel of experts names the 1999 Walker Books edition illustrated by Helen Oxenbury one of the top ten Medal-winning works, composing the ballot for a public election of the all-time favourite.[44]
  • 2008: Folio Alice's Adventures Under Ground facsimile edition (limited to 3,750 copies, boxed with The Original Alice pamphlet).
  • 2009: Children's book collector and former American football player Pat McInally reportedly sold Alice Liddell's own copy at auction for $115,000.[45]

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