Alice in Wonderland display

Literature and ballet join in wonderment as Alice comes to the capital

A rare first issue of the first edition of the children's classic 'Alice's adventures in Wonderland', and original costume visuals from a new Scottish Ballet production of the famous tale, will feature in a new display at the National Library of Scotland.

The 'Alice in Wonderland' treasures display launches on Friday (18 March) and features a host of items relating to the 1865 book and its author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who penned it under the pseudonym 'Lewis Carroll'.

Key exhibits include a rare copy of the withdrawn 1865 first issue. The author hastily withdrew the first print run of 2,000 copies following complaints about the quality of the printed illustrations from their creator, John Tenniel. Few copies have survived, and the Library's copy is in the original red cloth binding.

Stephanie Breen, senior curator, National Library of Scotland, said: 'The "Alice in Wonderland" treasures display is a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to get up close to a very rare issue of the book and other treasures which are seldom seen.

'Visitors will have a wonderful opportunity to view the first and second editions side by side and examine the differences in printing between the withdrawn 1865 'Alice', printed at the Clarendon Press, and the subsequent 1866 edition, printed by Richard Clay as a replacement.'

Other highlights in the treasures display include a first edition of 'Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There' (1872) signed by Alice Pleasance Hargreaves (née Liddell) - the original inspiration for 'Alice' - and various letters from Dodgson (Carroll).

The display also features a behind-the-scenes film montage of rehearsals from the pending Scottish Ballet production, and original costume and set visuals from 'Alice', which will be held at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh from next month. Visitors will also have a chance to win tickets to the production by entering a competition at the Library.

Catherine Cassidy, Associate Director Education, Scottish Ballet, said: 'We are delighted to be working in partnership with the National Library of Scotland and are particularly excited about reaching new audiences through both the display and our first ever backstage live stream event on 21st April.'

Viewers will catch a glimpse of life behind the scenes at Scottish Ballet directly before the company's performance of 'Alice' in Edinburgh Festival Theatre, and this event can be viewed live at the National Library with a post stream discussion as well from the Scottish ballet website. This event must be booked in advance: book online or call 0131 623 3918.

The 'Alice in Wonderland' treasures display will be open to the public from 18 March to 2 May.


17 March 2011

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