For the past several months I have been taking advantage of that peculiar holiday known as “Throwback Thursday” (does anyone know who invented this?) to showcase some of the covers of vintage editions of Alice in Wonderland from my collection. I say “Alice Covers,” however, I have included covers of other books, and even the covers of things that are not books, like games and puzzles from the 1920s and 1930s.
It’s not something I can do forever—though my wife and friends might not believe it, my Lewis Carroll collection is finite—but it’s been a fun way to explore the collection, share it with my Facebook followers, and display some of the variety of book (and related) art from the past century or more.
Alice was published in 1865, and the original cover was very nice—red cloth with gold rules around the edges and a small circular illustration in the middle. But it was later in the nineteenth century that decorated bindings really began to take off. Because Alice was still under copyright in the UK, many of the most impressive early bindings are American.
This autumn I’ll be showing lots of covers of Alice scripts and playbills as I celebrate the exhibit Alice Live! which I am curating at Lincoln Center, and after that I’m thinking about an exploration of foreign covers, which show amazing variety from the earliest in the 19th-century to the most recent.
So, if you love the art of the book, “Like” me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/charlielovett.author) to check out these great covers (there is an archive of previous posts in the photo album “Throwback Thursday Alice Covers”). If there is a particular cover or type of cover you’d like to see let me know. And don’t worry, one of these days I will run out of covers and start showing you what is inside.