Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Tenniel mostly...

Not a great deal of time on the rabbit's hands but I did happen for reasons too involved and uninteresting to explain to look at John Tenniel's original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland today. Of course one sits at the top of White Rabbit - the rather splendid White Rabbit with Trumpet Here are a few more starting with Dormouse being put into Teapot. I don't know what came over me....

Then we have the Caterpiller Smoking Hookah as per the Jefferson Airplane song. One can only wonder what Lewis Carroll - or the Reverend Charles Dodgson to give him his real name - had in mind. Okay he had a caterpillar smoking a hookah in mind but....

I do like this one. Father William balancing eel. As you do. Nice waistcoat by the way. They knew how to make waistcoats in those days.

And here we have Alice's hand dropping the White Rabbit. Ouch!

And finally we have Alice and animals in circle. Well mostly birds in fact, including an already extinct dodo if I am not mistaken. Years ago I read an annotated Alice which explains the meanings. Like much literature purportedly for children, it has subtexts for adults - now mostly inaccessible without explanation but easily understood by reasonably educated contemporary readers. It does strike me - again - how Wonderland is no - well - wonderland but a dark and surreal place.

To change the subject totally, the rabbit posts only occasionally on football, leaving the rest to the more football obsessed among us - but following a recent exchange of comments here are is a rendition of the splendid Chelsea Scum Song as performed by the Elland Road choir. Very uplifting too.


JoJo said...

As much as I enjoy children's fantasy fiction, I was always more than creeped out by the Alice in Wonderland story. Love the hookah caterpillar though; that was a popular sticker on Deadhead cars.

sybil law said...

Love the old drawings!
I didn't understand a word of that song!

Oh - and I initially thought this was a post about The Captain and Tenille - which I think is how they spelled it, but obviously, not.
I am more scared that that's where my mind went in first thought.

Catch Her in the Wry said...

I always like Tenniel's drawing of the Cheshire Cat with his bug-eyes and sly grin.

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

Insulting though it is:
To the tune of Que Sera Sera

When I was just a little boy
I asked my Mother who should I be
Should I be Chelsea
Should I be Leeds
Here's what she said to me
Wash your mouth out son
And go get your Fathers gun
And shoot the Chelsea scum
Shoot the Chelsea scum
We hate Chelsea
We hate Chelsea

I'm not sure where that came from, but I think I will support Coventry when I am at this blog from here on out.

Graham Ovenden and John Davis wrote an interesting book called Illustrators of "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" (ISBN:978-0902620254). I particularly liked Ralph Steadman's drawing of the cards painting the roses. He did them as Union Cards. Alas, the Ovenden book is out of print and outrageously expensive.. The Steadman illustrated Alice can be found fairly inexpensively.

simply wondered said...

while we are on the subject:

we hate nottingham forest
we hate liverpool too
we hate man united
but chelsea we love you...

do we fuck
do we shite
we support the black and white
(newcastle united song c 1970s[?])

thank you - i'm here all week.

Petit fleur said...

I run and then I hop, hop, hop,
I wish that I could fly.

There's danger if I dare to
Stop and here's a reason why:

I'm over-due, I'm in a bunny stew.

Can't even say good-bye,
hello, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.

Law Minx said...

My Dear Bunny,

I cannot help but notice that you appear to be distinctly frazzled as you attempt to stuff doormouse into the teapot; could it be that you have encountered a client that has finally taxed you to your limits?!

white rabbit said...

JoJo - Agreed. There is something distinctly creepy about Wonderland - a misdescription of a name.

Sybil - Song lyrics helpfully set out by Laci below.

Catchy - I was going to post the Cheshire Cat but Father William and eel won out - I try and ration these pics. maybe next time.

Laci - Quite so...

SW - Oh dear, what have I started? It must be necessary to point out to the nice North American people taht English football songs are far more confrontational - and sweary - than anything they are used to.

Little Flower - this blog isn't http://ohdearohdearishallbelate.blogspot for nuffin :D

Your Minxitude - I meet many people (though not particuularly dormice) I'd like to stuff in a teapot.

Maybe one fine day...

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

And Rubgy Songs are very rude, except for "Floreat Rugbeia" which is the Official school song.

This can lead to serious problems.

I loath William Webb Ellis.

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

That should have read Rugby.

simply wondered said...

not rygbi?

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

Only if it's Eleanor.

white rabbit said...

Laci - I quite like Rubgy.

SW/Laci - very droll I'm sure.