Gillian Beer’s “Alice in Space” – book review

I got this book as a gift when I was still studying English literature. I only managed to read it now – 4 years later.

It’s written by the famous British literary critic, Dame Gillian Beer (find out more about her, here).

I thought this was more of a monograph on Alice in Wonderland. It feels more like a collection of essays, compiled from a series of lectures given at the University of Chicago. Each chapter is focused on a different chapter of Lewis Carroll’s context: time, space, mathematics, Punch, dreams, and food. My personal favourite analyzed the relationship between Alice in Wonderland and the Punch magazine, including a variety of other John Tenniel cartoons and other notes Carroll had made in his notebooks.

Would I recommend the book to those who are not currently frantically writing an undergraduate essay conference paper on Alice in Wonderland? Hmmm…. Not really. The book is highly academic in its organization, and I couldn’t help but feel that I wasn’t expected to read it from cover to cover. However, if you happen to be a  hardcore Alice in Wonderland fan, you will definitely enjoy the book’s insights.

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