Lewis Carroll was a genius whose stories were first illustrated by John Tenniel. From the Jabberwock to the Bandersnatch galumphing after Alice with heavy footsteps, Carroll created an imaginary world with its own language. Two of my favorite nonsense words are, “frabjous,” a combination of fabulous and joyous, and “frumious,” state of being between fabulous and furious. My characters and I know the feelings.
In the latter part of the nineteenth century, Lewis Carroll’s true identity, Charles Dodgson, was well-known and the popularity of his stories spread. Two of his famous readers were Oscar Wilde and Queen Victoria, who invited him to entertain two of her grandchildren.
I’ve seen almost every film version of this classic story. If you missed the 1903 and the 1915 silent film adaptations or the original edition of the book, click on the links below.
Have a Frabjous Spring Break! I’ll resume blogging in April-Jillian
1903 and 1915 Silent film adaptations of Alice in Wonderland:
Original Alice edition (virtual view with page turn and audio)
In his famous poem, “The Owl and the Pussycat,” Lear made up the nonsense word “runcible” to describe the spoon in the illustration below. He often applied the adjective to objects from cats to walls to hats in his other works, too. Perhaps Lear was fond of “runcible” and would be surprised it’s still in use today.
Lear was also well-known for A Book of Nonsense, a collection of limericks. Since I spend a lot of time creating my characters’ physical appearances, this verse appealed to me.
“There was a Young Lady whose eyes
Were unique as to color and size;
When she opened them wide,
People all turned aside,
And started away in surprise.”
Maybe I’ll use the limerick as a place-holder in my writing the next time I’m stuck on a character description.
The multi-talented Lear traveled the world and visited Queen Victoria to give her drawing lessons. Overwhelmed by the magnificent collections at Buckingham Palace, Lear purportedly asked the Queen how she got all the splendid items. She responded, “I inherited them, Mr. Lear.”
Personally I wish I had inherited one of Lear’s works of art, which are beautiful and valuable. In 2011 the painting above sold for over $800,000.00 at a Christie’s auction. I wonder if Lear would consider that “runcible” nonsense?
Edward Lear’s Book of Nonsense:
Collection of Edward Lear’s Letters:
Ana Farrish, Historical Romance author, for teaching me my first WordPress and Twitter words.
Deb Sanders, Indie author of Romantic Suspense and Paranormal novels, for designing and redesigning my header until it was perfect.
Cheryl Rae, graphic designer for authors, for providing web and design services.
Sue Morrow, my best non-writer friend, for encouraging me throughout the process.
Ladies, I admire your talents and appreciate your support! I think I have just the right amount of knowledge to be dangerous. In which case, you’ll be hearing from me soon.