Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre, and its narrative course and structure, characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.
What the publisher calls the ``ultimate'' edition is in reality simply another look at Carroll's story in a beautifully produced volume--with an unusual twist. Edens has compiled various illustrations to the text that were made between 1865 and 1933. He presents the work of more than 25 artists, including John Tenniel, Arthur Rackham, Peter Newell, Willy Pogany, Gertrude Kay and Margaret Tarrant. But the result is a disjointed book that is disorienting to read. Illustrations by different artists, in color and black-and-white, are juxtaposed more to the text than to each other, and their varying styles create an effect that is more chaotic than instructional. Artistic comparisons would have been facilitated by captioning the illustrations with the date and artist's name, but unfortunately these details are provided only as a listing at the end of the book. To Eden's credit, many of the illustrations have been long out of print and are a joy to behold. The book appears to be more of a commercial exercise than a new look at Alice. All ages.