It was July 4, 1862, and Charles Dodgson, known to us as Lewis Carroll, was on a boating party that set out from Oxford, traveling to Godstow. The party included three little girls, one of whom was named Alice. As the person in charge of entertainment, Dodgson decided to tell one of his imaginative stories. Dodgson created a world set in a fairyland full of magic and danger. Alice was so captivated by the story that she later asked him to write it down for her, and Alice in Wonderland was born.
Coinciding with the 150th anniversary, eNotated Classics is releasing a sesquicentennial edition, The eNotated Alice in Wonderland, though in a format that Lewis Carroll would never have dreamed of, is an enhanced ebook. This edition has been “eNotated” by Pam Sowers, and contains notes from scholars and critics as well as illustrations crafted by Sir John Tenniel, the first illustrator of both Alice books, supplemented by later artists.
“The idea is to make classic literature more accessible by using e-book technology, which adds an additional layer of information,” said John Ashenhurst, President of eNotated Classics. “No one else is doing this.” He came up with the idea while reading James Joyce’s Ulysses in e-book format. It was awkward to go back and forth between web-searches on a laptop and his Kindle
Pam Sowers is a free-lance writer and researcher living in Olympia. The E-Notated Alice in Wonderland is her first book, although she has written many magazine and newsletter articles.
“This book is for adults as well as children. Alice in Wonderland is not simply a sweet children’s story set in dreamland. It is much more complex. Themes include death, racism, politics, anger, confusion, logic, and women’s role. Carroll wrote in a world controlled by Victorian sensibilities,” Sowers says.
Sowers hope is that by reading Alice, the reader will be able for a while, to become a child again.