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Alice has been the focus of much critical debate, biographical speculation and controversy about the role and meaning of ‘nonsense’ in Lewis Carroll’s enigmatic comic master-piece. Before following the White Rabbit down the rabbit-hole into her fantastical Underworld, Alice asks ‘what is the use of a book without pictures and conversations’, and this conversation about her adventures from the mid-nineteenth-century to the present, will acknowledge the importance of illustrating Alice from Tenniel to Tim Burton’s film and be illustrated by Victorian Magic Lantern slides based on the Alice books, introduced by Phillip Roberts.
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst is the author of The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland (2015), Victorian Afterlives: The Shaping of Influence in Nineteenth-Century Literature (2002) and Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist (2011), and a Professor of English at the University of Oxford.