If You Will Believe in Me, I Will Believe in You: Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll
✅ Best Book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Great Adventure Book – It is really beautiful edition printed on a high quality paper for any admirer of Alice adventures and/or Dali’s art. His paintings illustrate each chapter and are printed on the third page from the beginning of each chapter. It is so thrilling to look at each picture during reading the chapter and trying to figure what and why Dali decided to paint.
✅ Best Book Through the Looking Glass By Lewis Carroll
Weirdly Wonderful – Here is a very clever facsimile of a faux first version of “Through the Looking-Glass.” The author (Daniel Singer) begins the book with a delightful and utterly fantastic (in the true sense of the word) backstory of how he came to possess the handwritten manuscript of TTLG. It is an engaging introduction to his amusing story, which is the basic tale of Looking-Glass land, just not as fully developed as in Carroll’s finished version. This volume is full of humor, and the presentation is quite attractive, with a full color Morris-style honeysuckle cover and calligraphy like Carroll’s handwriting. The illustrations (by Jonathan Dixon) are reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s well composed drawings, with their inimitable air of skillful amateurism. Anyone who enjoys the Alice books will appreciate this homage to a favorite author. Very well done, and very highly recommended.
When you think of the animal characters in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the hurrying White Rabbit, the grinning Cheshire Cat, the implacable Caterpillar, the mad March Hare, and the croquet-mallet’s stunt double, the Flamingo, are usually the first that caper to mind. Horses – and, more specifically, the Unicorn – make no appearance at all until Carroll’s second Alice book, Through the Looking Glass.
However, in Through the Looking Glass, horses, the Unicorn, and a few uniquely Carrollian equine-type creatures stampede onto Alice and the Red King’s chessboard. The Rocking-Horse Fly swings through the bushes, and the frumious Bandersnatch steals through the same forest as the Jabberwocky. The Red Knight’s horse topples him off every second or third sentence, and the White Knight’s horse is tacked from his ear-tips to his hoofprints with, well, perhaps it’s best to let the White Knight describe one of the most astonishing pieces of his gear:
“You see,” [the White Knight] went on after a pause, “it’s as well to be provided for EVERYTHING. That’s the reason the horse has all those anklets round his feet.”
“But what are they for?” Alice asked in a tone of great curiosity.
“To guard against the bites of sharks,” the Knight replied. “It’s an invention of my own…”
In the end, though, it is to the Unicorn that Carroll gives some of the best lines not only in the Alice books, but in all of his writing. The passage was first published in Through the Looking Glass in 1871, but they are words that every unicorn (or horse) and human exchange at some point in their story:
“What—is—this?” [the Unicorn] said at last.
“This is a child!” Haigha replied eagerly, coming in front of Alice to introduce her, and spreading out both his hands towards her in an Anglo-Saxon attitude. “We only found it to-day. It’s as large as life, and twice as natural!”
“I always thought they were fabulous monsters!” said the Unicorn. “Is it alive?”
“It can talk,” said Haigha, solemnly.
The Unicorn looked dreamily at Alice, and said, “Talk, child.”
Alice could not help her lips curling up into a smile as she began: “Do you know, I always thought Unicorns were fabulous monsters, too! I never saw one alive before!”
“Well, now that we HAVE seen each other,” said the Unicorn, “if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you. Is that a bargain?”
Is that a bargain? Have you met a Red Knight or a White Knight, or haltered an impossible-to-catch Bandersnatch? Have you and your horse (or unicorn!) believed in each other even when it seemed impossible?
Read Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and page through the rest of Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations, and you may find that magic mirrors are nearer and fabulous creatures are more familiar than you might think!