For those looking to read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, I’m divided on whether or not I would recommend this specific edition. My wife loves the clothbound Penguin Classics editions of many different books, and her collection grows every year.
Not only do these editions have the book itself, but they also contain long introductions, appendices, and notes. All great information for fans who might be looking for all they can find on a particular book.
However, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass are rather interesting books to dive further into, especially when you get into the life of the author, Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson).
He was a man with habits that would have landed him in hot water if he were writing today instead of in the 1800s. And, while I was interested to learn what I did about his life, I wouldn’t want to change somebody’s opinion on the books by guiding them specifically to this edition.
Now, If you’re somebody who already has a basic understanding of Carroll’s life, then this edition could be fun.
There’s an introduction to Lewis Carroll, an introduction to this version of both books, the first book, the second book, the original version of the first book that he wrote for the real-life Alice, and plenty of notes.
As far as the story is concerned, I imagine most people are familiar with Disney’s animated Alice in Wonderland, which is a slightly altered story combining parts of both books. Fewer are probably familiar with the 1999 version of Alice in Wonderland directed by Nick Willing, which is a fairly by-the-book version of book 1.
I’ve never seen the more recent Disney adaptations of Alice in Wonderland or Alice Through the Looking Glass, so I can’t speak for them.
But the basic plot is fairly well known.
It does read very much like a dream. Fairly nonsensical things keep happening to Alice, and she’ll find herself jumping from one situation to another without really knowing how.
I’m glad I read it, because there are some books that everybody should read at least once. But it’s probably not one I would read over again. There are too many other books I need to read.