To celebrate 150 years of Alice, the British Library have put on a free display exploring the world of Alice through, books, artworks and toys, which is open until 17th April 2016.

Like a lot of women I know, I love absolutely anything to do with Alice In Wonderland – I’ve been a huge, huge fan since I was a child.

I used a torch under my duvet after lights out at boarding school to read the books over and over again, and whisk myself away into Alice’s colourful, surreal world. Those books got me through some rough times. So although I love the movies, the game, the memorabilia, and the numerous themed experiences based on it – the books will always have a special place in my heart.

So of course an Alice In Wonderland exhibition was a must do for me.

I’ve never been to the British Library before. And I have to be honest, as a building, it kind of disappointed. I had expected a beautiful, grand, old building – think Natural History Museum-esque. But it was an ugly 80s style flat roofed thing. Oh well. But that’s not important.

alice in wonderland british library

The Introduction

The exhibition starts with a series of illustrated mirrors and pictures, recapping some of the key scenes, before you enter the museum style main part.

alice in wonderland british library

One of my favourite Alice artworks was included in this area, ‘Alice & The Pack of Cards’ by Arthur Rackham.  If you aren’t familiar with Rackhams work, I suggest you take a look at the rest of his Alice pieces, they’re beautiful.

alice in wonderland british library

If you don’t know the history of the Alice stories, or how they came about, here’s a little recap…

On 4th July 1862 Lewis Carroll (which is actually his pen name), took a boat trip with his friend, Robinson Duckworth, and the three young daughters of the Dean of the Oxford College, Christ Church, at which he studied – Alice, Lorina and Edith Liddell. To entertain them, Carroll made up a story of Alice’s adventures in a magical world after falling through a rabbit hole.

alice in wonderland british library

The Exhibits

The rest of the exhibition did not allow photography. Although I didn’t realise and took a few snaps before getting very rudely shouted at (although funnily enough that wasn’t actually while I was taking a picture – I was actually talking to a guy on Tinder, haha!).

I’ll include my pics here as a little taster, but strongly recommed you visit the exhibition for yourself.

Possibly the most high profile piece was the original book. Lewis Carroll produced the manuscript, at the time entitled ‘Alice’s Adventures Under Ground’ in 1864 – after a request from Alice Liddell to write down the story he had originally told her 1862. While writing the text Carroll left space for 37 illustrations which he later went back in and created. Over two thirds of the illustrations included the character of Alice, and although Carroll was no artist, it is thought that he took inspiration from the Pre-Raphaelite art of his friends including the painter Dante Gabriel Rosetti and the illustrator Arthur Hughes. The book was gifted to Alice Liddell for Christmas.

alice in wonderland british library

A lot of the books in the exhibition were beautifully illustrated. One of my favourites was this copy of ‘The Wonderland Quadrilles… for the Pianoforte’, published in 1872.

The Quadrille was a popular dance in the 18th and 19th centuries which involved four couples dancing together in a rectangular formation. A number of playwrights and composers approached Carroll wanting to create their own work based on the Alice story. This piece was created by Charles Marriott, with Carrolls permission and, at his request, dedicated to Alice Liddell, for the piano.

alice in wonderland british library

This art nouveau Alice was illustrated by Charles Robinson in 1907. It contains eight colour plates and 112 line drawings. Alice looks a little different in this one – her dark hair is a reference to Alice Liddell, and the sailor style dress is a nod to the fashion of the time.

alice in wonderland british library

I don’t know much about the next book and jigsaw, but I believe they’re from the 1950s.

alice in wonderland british library

This jigsaw dates back to the 193os, and was illustrated by AL Bowley, who also illustrated an Alice Panorama which was on display. This was on private loan for the exhibition from the Richards Collection.

alice in wonderland british library

Something a little more modern, I really liked this colourful pop up book…

alice in wonderland british library

And finally, a beautiful piece by Salvador Dali…

alice in wonderland british library

As well as the exhibits, there were Alice video games you could play, and special sculptures scattered around.

The Gift Shop

Running alongside the exhibition is a pop up gift shop with all sorts of Alice inspired gifts.

alice in wonderland british library

Is it just me who likes gift shops possibly more than the exhibitions themselves?

alice in wonderland british library

Everyone loved these necklaces by jewellery designer Little Moose – check out their online store.

little moose cheshire cat

So what’s on?

As well as the exhibition, the British Library are holding seminars and events around the theme throughout February and March. Alice’s Adventures in Comics-Land looks intriguing…


I’d love to hear what anyone else thought of the exhibition!

L xx

All photos my own.

I know, I know, my ‘weekly’ round up posts aren’t really happening weekly, but life gets in the way sometimes! It’s been a busy couple of weeks – not only have I had loads on, but I managed to fracture my shoulder, wrist and break my thumb (which is why you’ll see some rather attractive wrist supports in my pics for a while!).

Sadly my injuries happened on the day I was meant to attend #BLOGGERSBELOWZERO at the Ice Bar, which I had been looking forward to for ages! Ice Bar have been very kind though and have invited me to my own little review visit so I will be posting about it soon! In the meantime you can see what Luisa of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat thought of it here.

So here’s what I got up to this fortnight…

People Footwear UK Launch

On Tuesday I went along to The Hoxton Gallery for the UK launch of Vegan leisure shoe line, People Footwear. You can read about it in detail here.

people footwear

Abhorrent Decimation at Scream Lounge

I left the People Footwear event a little early to get myself down to the tiny Scream Lounge in Croydon to see local death metal band Abhorrent Decimation. Loved them. Properly loved them.

Despite being exactly the kind of thing I usually love, Abhorrent Decimation had managed to pass me by up until now. But I was so impressed, and I left with a copy of their new album, Miasmic Mutation. If you like death metal with a modern edge give it a listen, it’s awesome.

abhorrent decimation

ABQ London

Wednesday evening was my second visit to the ABQ London Breaking Bad themed bar (after going the first time around in the Summer, which you can read about here). After such a successful run of their Hackney pop up RV, they returned to a new venue, and a new BYOB format, which I’ve posted about in detail here!

abq london

Grease at the Hard Rock Cafe POP Picturehouse

Hard Rock Cafe London have some really cool stuff coming up, starting with the immersive showing of Grease in collaboration with Pop Picturehouse.

pop picturehouse hard rock cafe

You can read about the event in detail here, and buy tickets for the next event, Spiceworld on 22nd February here.

Alice In Wonderland Exhibition at The British Library

Have I mentioned yet how much I love Alice In Wonderland? I actually don’t think I have, which is pretty strange as I have been OBSESSED with anything Alice since my childhood. So of course the Alice In Wonderland exhibition at the British Library was on my to do list. You can see a sneaky preview of the exhibition in this post.

alice in wonderland british library

Chicken Night with Yelp & Neighbourhood

I’ve really been getting into Yelp lately (you can check out my profile here if you’re interested, feel free to add me as a friend if you’re a fellow Yelper).  I’m actually pretty disappointed that I didn’t get involved sooner, since they have such a great community and hold some really awesome events!

Wednesday just gone I attended their Newbie and Chicken Night at Neighbourhood in Stratford. It was a great night, I met some cool new people and had a delicious family style dinner and as much beer as I could drink! Thanks Yelp!


At Home With The Chef with Yelp & Eat With

Another night, another Yelp event! This was actually a pretty special one, there were only eight spaces available so Yelp ran a little competition – the eight Yelpers who recruited the most new members won a space. And I actually won overall, and got an extra little gift of a really nice cafetiere and coffee – I’m keeping it for my new desk when I start my new job in March.

Now, this event run with Eat With is worthy of a post all of its own, so you can read about it soon!

eat with

In the meantime you can find out a bit more about the chef who cooked for us, Dylan, on his blog, The Travelling Editor.

Fat Tuesday – London Mardi Gras 2016

You may have seen my post about Fat Tuesday in advance of the event? Regardless, I was invited down by Kansas Smittys and Shotgun Carousel to their London Mardi Gras event on Southbank. Despite the miserable weather, it was a great night!

london mardi gras

So, that was what’s been going on in my life lately – the next couple of weeks are going to be busy too! Stay tuned for more cool Yelp events, Slipknot, a new tattoo and plenty of (anti) Valentines stuff!

L xx

All photos my own.