Alice In Wonderland Kitchen Tea Ideas
With its surreal hookah smoker caterpillar, animated cat and hasty rabbit, you could be forgiven for cerebration that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was meant to be a abolitionist text. Yet as Rachael Kohn discovers, it was accounting by a adamantly bourgeois Anglican affect (whose absolute name wasn’t Lewis Carroll).
It’s been 150 years back Lewis Carroll’s Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published—a best artful children’s adventure that’s not what it seems.
If you doubtable that the architect of a hookah smoker caterpillar ability accept been a radical, again you’re not alone—take your abode alongside millions of babyish boomers.
Jefferson Airplane’s better hit, ‘White Rabbit’, from the 1967 anthology Surrealistic Pillow, was based on the abstraction that Lewis Carroll’s admired children’s account foretold their generation’s adulation of benumbed out on acid.
Carroll, however, was far from liberal. His absolute name was Charles Dodgson, an Anglican affect and don of Oxford’s Christ Church College. According to Canadian artist and fantasy abstract bookish David Day, Dodgson was a arrow in the ancillary of the reform-minded Henry Liddell, administrator of Christ Church and ancestor to the absolute activity Alice.
‘Dodgson was absolutely the adverse and did aggregate he could throughout his activity to basically demolition any affectionate of advanced reform,’ he says.
That included actuality asleep set adjoin removing Latin and Greek as compulsatory capacity for Oxford students, a move Liddell initiated, admitting actuality a arch bookish of age-old Greek. While Liddell was aggravating to accompany Oxford into the avant-garde world, says Day, ‘Dodgson was activity backwards, fervently.’
The best abolitionist abstraction of the time was Darwin’s approach of evolution. Oxford was the arena of a allegorical agitation amid Thomas Huxley, accepted as ‘Darwin’s bulldog’, and the abbey of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, at the British Affiliation on June 30, 1860.
How did Dodgson acknowledge to evolution? A agog photographer, he took photos of anybody circuitous in the debate. Perhaps he was already cerebration of how he would accelerate them up and satirise the abstraction of change in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which contains a amusing ‘kitchen of creation’ arena area aggregate goes wrong: men with angle and frog heads, a boy affronted into a pig—it’s basic anarchy and actual funny.
Even the abstraction of the adaptation of the fittest is satirised in the carol ‘Speak Roughly to Your Little Boy’. Alice alcohol the boy away, alone to acquisition him adapted into a pig. Oops!
The kitchen arena additionally appearance the Cook, whom Day believes was a bluff of Sir Richard Owen, the accustomed scientist and adviser to Abbey Wilberforce who disagreed with Darwin on how things evolved.
The agitation was that the abbey kept accepting Owen’s science muddled, and according to Day their accord was rocky, agnate to that of the Duchess and the Cook in Wonderland, who scream and bandy pots at anniversary other.
Above the absonant scene, and throughout this absorbing tale, appears the animated Cheshire Cat, the best abstruse amount in the story. Who is he? (We can apparently accept that in the Oxford of the 1860s it would not be a she.)
Day believes he has accurately articular the animated cat as the ‘conscience of Oxford’, Reverend Edward ‘Puss-Cat’ Pusey, the assize of Christ Church College.
If that seems too accessible an association, Day credibility out that chat games, mathematics and alike Latin references were all allotment of Dodgson’s brainy playground.
Indeed, Dodgson, a polymath, invented the accepted parlour bold Doublets, which was aboriginal appear in Vanity Fair.
Dodgson adored his best absorbing buffoonery, the Mad Hatter’s tea party, for Christian socialists. While today Christian socialists of assorted kinds are the doyens of the bookish world, Dodgson admired them as alarming and alike vaguely traitorous. Hence the affair takes abode at Cambridge, a boondocks Dodgson never visited.
What of Charles Dodgson’s own religious sympathies? They were circuitous and fascinating, and annihilation but straightforward. On the one hand, his awful Victorian behavior recoiled at vulgarity, which saw him airing out of plays that affronted his sensibilities. Apparently, little girls shouting ‘damn’ in HMS Pinafore prompted him to address an affronted letter to The Times.
Yet his religious behavior were adventurous. Supernaturalism, Rosicrucianism, and Theosophy (at the time alleged ‘esoteric Buddhism’) drew his interest, as did the Christian Cabala.
In fact, if Day is correct, it was the Cabala which prompted him to address Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with its aperture analogy of a aerial actuality pursued bottomward a hole.
Editor's note: This commodity has been adapted to reflect the aboriginal appellation of Dodgson's work, 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', rather than 'Alice in Wonderland'.
Listen to this Adventure of The Spirit of Things to apprehend how the surreal book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, that is axis 150-years-old, begin its way into abreast pop culture.
The Spirit of Things explores abreast ethics and behavior as bidding through ritual, art, music and angelic texts, and absorption on the attributes of airy acceptation in our lives.