Monday 17 August 2015

Twinkle Twinkle.

An utterance from the lips of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. I wrote of it being the 150th anniversary of the publication of the book earlier this year and after spending an evening with Witchy Woo earlier this week she spoke of a new exhibition at our local museum. As these are always free, good quality and I was in town anyway running errands I decided on a whim to make a detour. I only had my phone with me not my trusty little point and press so quality is a tad dodgy I'm afraid.

The town has a fairly tenuous link to the original Alice Liddell who honeymooned just outside Horsham at the home of her husband's sister at Sedgwick Park in 1880. However, one of the town's current residents, Victor Wiffen, is an avid collector of all things Wonderland related and he has kindly loaned some of his items for others to view and enjoy. He started out with just books in 1977 but with the lifting of the copyright in 1907 he has found the range of related merchandise to be extensive so the cabinets were filled with all sorts. A small selection to give you a taster-

There is even a copy of the very rare chapter "The Wasp in the Wig" which was not rediscovered until 1974.

For me it's fascinating how this seminal work has influenced so many different spheres beyond it's original children's fiction remit. The use of wordplay, copycat works, advertising, parodies and how it has entered the political arena or been used in the context of real life events. Then there is the dark side....the allusion to drugs and the suggestion [unproven] that perhaps the fixation Charles Dodgson had for both Alice and other little girls was bordering on the unhealthy. That's not for me to speculate or debate though.

Certainly, a well thought out display which I enjoyed immensely.


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