Thursday, 26 November 2015

150th Anniversary of Alice in Wonderland

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Lewis Caroll’s children’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. There have been numerous events throughout the year marking the occasion, and last week saw the launch of the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the British Library

The imagination of generations of adults and children alike have been captivated by Alice’s adventures down the rabbit hole to a fantasy world populated by weird and wonderful creatures, such as the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, and who could forget the menacing Queen of Hearts whose catchphrase “off with her head” echoes in memories of childhoods past. The popularity of the book can be seen in the many adaptations created over the years.

Wildridge’s interpretation of Alice, The Hatter and The March Hare [C DML/2/1] 
The story of Alice’s adventures has been a personal favourite of mine since childhood so I was excited to discover when sorting through some uncatalogued materials held in the Local Studies Library a small collection of postcards depicting various scenes from Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the looking glass. The picture postcard set comprises six illustrated postcards created from original drawings by Thomas Tindall Wildridge.
Thomas Tindall Wildridge (1858-1928), was a records clerk, antiquarian, author, and an artist. He often included sketches in his own publications and a number of his paintings are held in the Hull Museum’s collections. Inspired by the works of Lewis Carroll, Wildridge created “a unique collection of original oil paintings, water colours, pen and ink and other drawings” for an exhibition that formed part of the Lewis Carroll Pageant. The packet of six postcards were published at the exhibition and could be purchased at the time for sixpence.

Wildridge’s interpretation of characters from Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [C DML/2/1]

The postcards have now been catalogued and form part of a small collection relating to Thomas Tindall Wildridge. The collection includes two letters from Wildridge to Dr. Wilson-Barkworth regarding the Hull Grammar School, and a number of prints of sketches by Wildridge. The collection is held at reference C DML and can be viewed in the archives searchroom at the History Centre.

Hull History Centre

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