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Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson]

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1865 with illustrations by John Tenniel. It was written by Lewis Carroll, the pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1888), a mathematician at Christ Church College, Oxford.

This is a less expensive edition of the story, probably reduced in length, that uses some of the internal illustrations provided by Harry Rowntree (1873-1952) for an edition of the book published by Thomas Nelson and Sons in 1908. This was a lavish ediiton with 92 illustrations in colour of which 14 were full page. They decided in 1917 to ask Blampied to provide a new cover illustration, probably so that they could sell it as a new edition.

When Blampied had submitted the final version of the cover design for The Water Babies at the end of January in 1917, Edwin Jack wrote on 31st January to ask him to undertake another commission:

We should like you now to send us a drawing for Alice in Wonderland for a cover design for the same size of book. As this will not call for such delicate treatment we think you will be able to give us something strong and a cover which will at the same time appeal to children. A big, charming presentment of Alice should certainly be the main idea in this cover.

Blampied sent from Jersey to Edinburgh a rough sketch of his design, which was acknowledged on 12th February 1917:

We like the sketch for cover of Alice and return it herewith marked for size. The only objection to sketch is the colour of background. It is always difficult to reproduce a flat negative colour satisfactorily in three colours. Perhaps you can devise something different. Do not put any lettering on this sketch.

The design for this book led Edwin Jack to write in May asking Blampied for some drawings for children's books because:

Your drawing for the cover of Alice in Wonderland was such a happy one we think you could do some drawings of this type which would please us.

Blampied's cover design was used on the jacket or cover of at least two later editions of Alice in Wonderland published by Thomas Nelson and Sons.

First edition, thus

Title: Alice in Wonderland

Bibliography code: NEL-17.9i

Publisher: Thomas Nelson and Sons

Series: none

Year: [1917]

Format: 8vo

Pages: 64 pp, plus 4 unnumbered colour illustrations, bound in

Binding: Printed card backed with red cloth, stapled pages

Size: 261 x 201 mm

Dust jacket: wrapper not seen, but letters indicate that it was published with one

Cover signed: Blampied, lower right edge, almost cut off

Internal illustrations: colour frontispiece and 3 colour plates printed on glossy card, bound in, by Harry Rowntree

Price: not known

Printing history: none stated

Printed by: Thomas Nelson and Sons, Edinburgh

Notes: The soft card covers of these books is easily damaged by children, so copies in good condition are uncommon.

Image of cover

Cover of book (click to enlarge)

Second edition of 1908 edition?

Title: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Bibliography code: NEL-17.9ii

Series: The Golden River Series

Publisher: Thomas Nelson and Sons

Year: [1928?]

Format: 8vo

Size: 170 x 134 mm

Pages: 160 pp, plus 8 colour illustrations on un-numbered pages, bound in

Dust jacket: Blampied, lower right above the price

Price: 2 shillings

Image of dust jacket

Dust jacket (click to enlarge)

Binding: Dark green cloth with banner at top, a silhouette of seven children on a yellow background; on the spine, a silhouette of a single child on a yellow background at the top, with the full title, author and publisher in black.

Internal illustrations: colour frontispiece and 7 colour plates printed on glossy paper, bound in, by Harry Rowntree, but his signature cut off

Printing history: none stated

Printed by: Printed in Great Britain at the Press of the Publishers

Notes: This seems to be a re-issue of the edition of 1909 with the same number of pages with fewer illustrations, but as a cheaper edition with a dust jacket using the design by Blampied. A dedication has been reported in a copy dated 1931. The Water Babies was also re-issued in an edition with the same binding.

First edition, thus?

Title: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with Bruno's Revenge

Bibliography code: NEL-17.9iii

Publisher: Thomas Nelson and Sons

Series: none

Year: [1932]

Format: 8vo

Pages: iii, 5-220, 4 pp ads

Binding: Blue cloth with printed illustration pasted on front cover; on spine, title, author, decoration of Nelson's shop in Edinburgh, and publisher at base, all in gold.

Size: 190 x 129 mm

Cover: Blampied, lower right

Dust jacket: seen on a copy, by Blampied

Internal illustrations: Decorated endpapers; colour frontispiece and many line illustrations by Helen Monro, who is credited on title page

Price: not known

Image of cover

Cover and spine (click to enlarge)

Printing history: none stated

Printed by: Printed in Great Britain at the Press of the Publishers

Notes: I can't find out when this edition was first published. The adverts in the back are for books to be issued in September 1932, including Alice in Wonderland, but the estimated date of the copy illustrated by Helen Munro recorded on Jisc is 1936.


In 1920, when he had returned to live in London, Blampied seems to have written to Edwin Jack proposing that he illustrate a new edition of Alice in Wonderland because there is a letter in the Nelson Archive dated 13th May 1920:

I like your drawing for Alice in Wonderland but in face of present costs we could not entertain a new edition of this book.