Friday, June 19, 2020

Sir John Tenniel and Arthur Rackham Illustrations From Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Free E-Books

Like many of you I can remember my grandmother and mother reading "Alice In Wonderland" to me and reading it myself when I learned how.  I always loved the story and the illustrations.  My favorite characters were the white rabbit, the mad hatter, the caterpillar, the footman frog, the mock turtle and the queen.  I always had visions of making my own versions of dolls for these characters but haven't done so yet.  They are, however, on my bucket list.

Recently I created a new "We Love Books" category with 12 book related designs.  One of my recent designs was inspired by one of the characters in "Alice In Wonderland" - the white rabbit.  I don't know if it's the red hearts on this design that makes me think of this book, but it does.

So, given how much I love history and old books I decided to see if there was a copy of some of the old "Alice in Wonderland" books out there on Project Gutenberg which displays books that are in the public domain.  To my delight there were several.

I found Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll with illustrations by Arthur Rackham.  After finding that ebook I them looked at The Tenniel Illustrations for Carroll's Alice in Wonderland by John Tenniel ebook and decided to post them as well as they are all so wonderful and inspiring.

As I started looking through the pages and looking at the beautiful illustrations I felt inspired by the beautiful illustrations and thought they'd make for some adorable mixed media creations and maybe even inspire me to create a few dolls for my favorite characters.

So far, I've been inspired by Alice, the white rabbit with playing cards outfit, the caterpillar, the fish-footman, the mad hatter, the mock turtle, and the Queen.

If you've never read Alice In Wonderland or had it read to you by a beloved grandparent or parent it is a delightful book about a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole and goes on quite the adventure.  Along the way she meets all sorts of unbelievable characters with their own stories and opinions.

There are twelve chapters in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and they are as follows:

Chapter One – Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice, who is seven years old is sitting along a riverbank with her big sister when she spots a white rabbit.  She decides to follow the white rabbit and falls down a rabbit hole where she foolishly drinks something from a bottle that causes her to shrink and then eats cake which causes her to grow.

Chapter Two – The Pool of Tears: As Alice continues to grow she starts to cry and her tears cause a flood.  She starts to swim through the flood of her tears and meets a mouse.

Chapter Three – The Caucus Race and a Long Tale: Alice starts to meet all sorts of creatures while swimming in her pool of tears.  Alice and the creatures decided to get dry on a river bank and then carry on quite the conversation about getting dry.

Chapter Four – The Rabbit Sends a Little Bill: Alice meets the white rabbit, again, who is in search of the duchess's gloves and fan.  He mistakes Alice for his maidservant and orders Alice inside his house to retrieve them.  While inside Alice foolishly drinks from another bottle, again, and immediately starts to grown, again.  This causes quite the stir with a crowd that has gathered to gawk at her.  They throw pebbles at her which turn in cakes which she eats and then, subsequently, she starts to shrink, again.

Chapter Five – Advice from a Caterpillar: Alice leaves the house and comes upon a caterpillar sitting on a large mushroom.  The caterpillar starts to questions Alice and she finds she's unable to remember some things.  Before the caterpillar crawls away he tells Alice eating one side of the mushroom will make her grown taller and one side will make her grow smaller, so she breaks off two pieces of the mushroom.  One piece makes her grown so small that her head meets her feet and the other makes her neck grow so tall her heads ends up in a tree where she is mistaken  for a serpent by a pigeon.   Eating a small piece of the mushroom reduces her size, again.

Chapter Six – Pig and Pepper: As she continues on her adventure she meets a fish-footman who has an invitation for the duchess of the house upon whose stoop he is sitting.   Alice lets herself into the house and finds the cook who is throwing dishes and making soup with too much pepper that causes Alice and the duchess to sneeze.  The duchess hands Alice the baby she is holding which turns into a pig in Alice's arms.   Outside the house Alice meets the Cheshire cat with a huge grin that floats in the air  on it's own.

Chapter Seven – A Mad Tea-Party: Alice stumbles upon a "mad" tea party with the march hare, mad hatter and very tired dormouse.  They bombard Alice with riddles and when she grows tired of this she leaves the tea party.

Chapter Eight – The Queen's Croquet Ground: After leaving the tea party Alice enters a garden where she finds playing cards that are alive painting the white roses on a red because the queen hates white roses.  Alice ends up meeting the king and queen who is constantly saying, "Off with his head!"  Alice is invited to play a game of croquet with the queen and her subjects which quickly turns into chaos.  Flamingos are used as mallets and hedgehogs used as the balls.  The Cheshire cat appears again and the queen orders his head to be cut off.  The executioner can't do it because all he can see is the head.  Since the cat belongs to the duchess the queen decides to release the duchess from prison to resolve this matter.

Chapter Nine – The Mock Turtle's Story: The duchess arrives at Alice's request and during a discussion between the queen and Alice the queen threatens to cut off her head.  The queen then introduces Alice to the gryphon  who takes her to meet the mock turtle, who is down in the dumps.

Chapter Ten – Lobster Quadrille: For some reason the mock turtle and gryphon start to dance with Alice trying to recite a lobster song, which she did so incorrectly.

Chapter Eleven – Who Stole the Tarts?: Alice attends a trial where the knave of hearts is accused of stealing the queen's tarts.  The jury is comprised of various creatures, while the white rabbit is the court's trumpeter and the judge is the king of hearts.  Alice finds she is growing, again, and is scolded by the dormouse who accuses her or taking all the air.

Chapter Twelve – Alice's Evidence: As the trial continues Alice is called up as a witness.  At this point she is growing so large she is knocking everything over so the king and queen demand she be gone.  Alice refuses to leave and the queen ends up accusing Alice of stealing her tarts so the queen orders her head to be cut off.  Alice, who is unafraid of the queen shouts at the queens guard as nothing but a pack of cards as they surround her and swarm all over her.  Alice screams and with all the commotion Alice's sister wakes up from her dream to find Alice with her head in her lap with leaves all over her face. She brushes them off awakening Alice who tells her she had the strangest dream.

I thought you might get inspired by this story, too, so I decided to post the illustrations and some excerpts from the various chapters that relate to the illustration here for you all to enjoy as well.  By reading the delightful text and seeing the illustrations I hope they inspire you to create as well.

Per Project Gutenberg - This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.

This free eBook is online at

In a separate Linda's Blog post are illustrations from "The Tenniel Illustrations for Carroll's Alice in Wonderland by Sir John Tenniel." - 42 Graphics  I hope you like them, too.

Per Project Gutenberg - This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.

This free ebook is online at 

According to Wikipedia "Alice In Wonderland" was written in 1865 by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pen name Lewis Carroll.

The work has never been out of print, and it has been translated into at least 97 languages. Its ongoing legacy encompasses many adaptations for stage, screen, radio, art, theme parks, board games, and video games.

According to Wikipedia - Illustrations - The manuscript was illustrated by Dodgson himself who added 37 illustrations—printed in a facsimile edition in 1887. John Tenniel provided 42 wood engraved illustrations for the published version of the book. The first print run was destroyed (or sold to America) at Carroll's request because he was dissatisfied with the quality. The book was reprinted and published in 1866.

John Tenniel's illustrations of Alice do not portray the real Alice Liddell, who had dark hair and a short fringe. The Guardian states, “John Tenniel’s illustrations to this first edition remain indelibly Alice, with her apron and puffed sleeves and sweep of blond hair.” Alice has provided a challenge for other illustrators, including those of 1907 by Charles Pears and the full series of colour plates and line-drawings by Harry Rountree published in the (inter-War) Children's Press (Glasgow) edition. Other significant illustrators include: Arthur Rackham (1907), Willy Pogany (1929), Mervyn Peake (1946), Ralph Steadman (1967), Salvador DalĂ­ (1969), Graham Overden (1969), Max Ernst (1970), Peter Blake (1970), Tove Jansson (1977), Anthony Browne (1988), Helen Oxenbury (1999) and Lisbeth Zwerger (1999).

According to Wikipedia - Sir John Tenniel (28 February 1820 – 25 February 1914) was an English illustrator, graphic humorist, and political cartoonist prominent in the second half of the 19th century. He was knighted for his artistic achievements in 1893. Tenniel is remembered especially as the principal political cartoonist for Punch magazine for over 50 years, and for his illustrations to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871).

According to Wikipedia - Arthur Rackham - (19 September 1867 – 6 September 1939) was an English book illustrator. He is recognised as one of the leading literary figures during the Golden Age of British book illustration. His work is noted for its robust pen and ink drawings, which were combined with the use of watercolour. Rackham's 51 colour pieces for the Early American tale became a turning point in the production of books since – through colour-separated printing – it featured the accurate reproduction of colour artwork. Some of his best-known works include the illustrations for Rip Van Winkle, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm.

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