Cover image for Alice' s adventures : Lewis Carroll in popular culture


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PR4611.A73 B76 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Will Brooker, author of Batman Unmasked and Using the Force, turns his attention to Lewis Carroll and Alice. He takes the reader through a fascinating and revealing tour of late 20th Century popular culture, following Alice and her creator wherever they go. Brooker reveals the ways in which this iconic character has been used and adapted, taking in cartoons, movies, computer games, theme parks, heritage sites, novelizations, illustrations, biographies, theatrical performances, toys and other products, websites, fan clubs and much more. The result is a remarkable analysis of how one original creation has expanded over time to symbolize many different things to many different people.

Author Notes

Will Brooker is Associate Professor in Communications at Richmond, the American International University in London.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Part of Continuum's trilogy of cultural icons that includes works on Batman and Star Wars, this fascinating survey of present-day Anglo-American popular culture examines the myths and icons of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Brooker (American International Univ., London) spends a great deal of effort analyzing Carroll's motivation for writing Wonderland and the debate over whether the stories are "pretty nonsense" for children or dark psychological writings for adults by an author who channeled his alleged pedophilia into satiric fantasies. Brooker also compares the illustrations of the various editions of the tales and examines the references to Alice in contemporary movies such as The Matrix and American McGee's Alice, one of several adaptations for video games. There is also detailed analysis of the structures of the film releases of Carroll's stories. Thorough notes and references accompany the text. A good addition for literature and film collections in academic and larger public libraries; also useful for book discussion groups revisiting the tales.-Joyce Sparrow, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas Cty., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Exhaustively researched and minutely argued, this volume provides a reception history of the cultural meaning of Lewis Carroll and Alice in contemporary Western society. Brooker (communication, Richmond, The American International Univ. in London) opens with a polemical chapter detailing the debates among Carroll biographers about the nature of the author's relationship with the young Alice Liddell; he then compares Victorian and modern conceptions of that relationship in the broader culture. The author really hits his stride when he begins to analyze the textual history of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass: he looks at the illustrations for various versions of the tales, fictional rewritings, and appropriations of the Alice figure in other cultural contexts such as films, video games, Web sites, and even pornography. Whereas the earlier chapters engage directly with biographical studies such as Morton Cohen's outstanding Lewis Carroll: A Biography (CH, Apr'96) and Stephanie Lovett Stoffel's Lewis Carroll in Wonderland (1997), and thus will mainly interest Carroll historians and others invested in the "pedophile versus sainted don" debate, the latter parts of the book will engage the curiosity of any reader interested in pop culture in a variety of disciplines. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. D. K. Kreisel Warren Wilson College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Introduction: A Mess of Souvenirsp. xiii
1 The Many Lives of Lewis Carrollp. 1
2 The Man in White Paperp. 49
3 Analysing Alicep. 77
4 Illustrators of Alicep. 105
5 The Further Adventures of Alicep. 151
6 Adapting Alicep. 199
7 Dark Wonderlandp. 229
8 Fansp. 265
9 Pilgrimagep. 307
Appendix Ap. 349
Appendix Bp. 357
Bibliographyp. 369