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Through the Looking-Glass

Hardcover - 01 September 2015
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Alice's second adventure takes her through the looking glass to a place even curiouser than Wonderland, in this gorgeous hardback gift edition

Alice finds herself caught up in the great looking glass chess game and sets off to become a queen. It isn't as easy as she expects: at every step she is hindered by nonsense characters who crop up and insist on reciting poems. Some of these poems, such as "The Walrus and the Carpenter" and "Jabberwocky," are as famous as the Alice stories themselves. Gloriously illustrated with the original line drawings by John Tenniel, plates colored by John Macfarlane, a ribbon marker, and a foreword by Philip Ardagh, this beautiful hardback edition of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, which was first published by Macmillan in 1871, is a truly special gift to treasure.

Customer Reviews

1 customer reviews Between 4−5 stars rating, 03 December 2014
Alice becomes a chess piece herself

In his stories, Carroll blurs the boundaries between being awake and being asleep so that it becomes difficult to tell where reality ends and dreaming begins. At the beginning of the chapter, Alice enjoys a drowsy winter nap near the fire. She leaves her chair only to snatch up Kitty and place her on her knee. Alice dozes off in this position, and her step through the mirror happens in her dream. Since she is only half asleep, Alice’s experiences combine elements from the waking world and her dreams. The dream motif of Through the Looking-Glass differs from the one found in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, for here Alice exercises some control over what she encounters in... See More

her fantasy world. Alice’s repeated pleas to Kitty to play pretend emphasize her desire to exert some control over her imagination.

Alice discovers that the room on the other side of the mirror is nearly identical to her old room, showing the motif of inversion that reappears throughout the text. The alternate dimension is not just a mirror image, but a comprehensive inversion of reality. In Looking-Glass House, Alice no longer needs a fire, since the winter of the real world becomes summer in the imagined world, where the gardens are in bloom and the trees are filled with leaves. Even the inanimate objects in Alice’s old room, such as the pictures and the mantle clock, spring to life. Alice appears invisible to the chess pieces, which is one aspect of the inversion that occurs in Looking-Glass House. In Alice’s world, she is alive while the chess pieces are inanimate, but Looking-Glass World belongs to the chess pieces, where they have a working order to their lives. Like the chessboard, their lives are highly symmetrical and controlled.

Alice’s invisibility suggests that she maintains a godlike power over the chessmen of Looking-Glass World, which stems from the fact that the whole universe exists as part of her imagination. Alice picks up the White King as if she were a divine power manipulating the lives of the chess pieces. This establishes the idea of the chessboard as a plane of existence upon which individuals are positioned like chess pieces and moved around according to predetermined rules. Inside the house, Alice’s invisibility allows her to be an unseen hand, but the image of the chessboard gains its full significance in the next chapter when she joins the chess game outside. There, Alice becomes a chess piece herself, manipulated by an unseen hand, presumably the authorial hand of Carroll. The imposition of this hand starts to become apparent when Alice loses control over her body and floats down the stairs, propelled forward toward her destiny by the unseen hand of the author.

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