This year Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s book Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland turns 150. It was 1865 when the plucky young Alice first tumbled down a rabbit-hole into the magical kingdom of Wonderland.
And she hasn’t looked back. The book has always remained in print and has been translated into more than 64 languages. More than 46 films were created based on the characters.
But why do we love it so much? It is a ridiculous tale, unusual and confusing. It’s a classic example of a style of writing called literary nonsense that would influence fantasy writers for generations to come.
The book’s themes and characters are so bizarre that in the 1960’s rumours began to surface that Lewis Carroll wrote the book under the influence of drugs, particularly opium or laudanum.
It’s a tempting theory – after all the story has Alice eating ‘magic’ mushrooms and meeting hookah smoking caterpillars.
However, most experts agree that while the tale is weird, it is simply excellent fanciful writing and there is no evidence to suggest Carroll was a drug user.
There was a dark side to Carroll though. He suffered from a strange disorder that caused him to have hallucinations which made him feel bigger or smaller than he was. This theme features so prominently in the story that it became known as Alice in Wonderland syndrome.
It explains some of the oddity, but there is still plenty to go around. Maybe that’s just why we love it.
In celebration, we’ve created a new soundtrack for the first silent movie version from 1903. This rare film, of which only one physical copy exists, is the first movie adaptation of the book.
We hope Lewis Carroll would have liked it.
Here it is, enjoy!
“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”– The Queen, in Through The Looking Glass