British Library launches Alice's Adventures Under Ground on iBooks

Alice's Adventures Under Ground

Later known as Alice in Wonderland, this is the original manuscript given by Lewis Carroll to Alice Liddell for Christmas 1864. The manuscript is illustrated throughout by Dodgson and even includes a small photograph of Alice on the last page.

One summer’s day in 1862, he took Alice and her sisters on a boat trip on the Thames by Oxford, where he taught as a mathematician. Along the way he entertained them with a fabulous story of Alice’s adventures in a magical world entered through a rabbit hole. Ten year-old Alice begged him to write it down, and eventually he did, giving her this meticulous manuscript of the tale for Christmas.

Lewis Carroll (the pen name for Charles Dodgson) was only later encouraged to rewrite the story and seek publication. It has gone on to become one of the best-loved children’s stories ever written and been filmed many times.

The manuscript is illustrated throughout by Dodgson, who later commissioned John Tenniel to come up with the drawings we are more familiar with, and even includes a small photograph of Alice on the last page.

This eBookTreasures version has transcription throughout as well as superb narration by Miriam Margoyles.

The British Library has launched a new e-book on Apple’s iBooks store: Alice’s Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll.

Title sounds a bit wrong? It refers to the original handwritten and illustrated manuscript, which went on to become Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland when it was published properly. The British Library has been the manuscript’s owner since 1948.

The e-book version includes those illustrations alongside the text, with additional voice narration from actress Miriam Margoyles. It’s taking advantages of the multimedia features that Apple added to iBooks after its initial release.

The e-book is free for two weeks, and will cost £6.99 after that point.

“The British Library’s manuscript of Alice is one of our most precious and best-loved treasures, and is the key to understanding fully the origins of Dodgson’s Alice and her Adventures under ground,” says Jamie Andrews, head of english and drama at the British Library.

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