Alice in Wonderland

Any day is good day for a mad tea party or an "unbirthday"!  A very special Alice day, however, is July 4th, the day of the "Golden Afternoon" which inspired Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgon) to devise his story of a little girl tumbling down a rabbit hole.  
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson began to tell the story of a little girl named Alice on an outing with Alice, Edith, and Lorina Liddell on July 4, 1862. He later recalled that “golden afternoon” in a poem that prefaces many editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
     A Golden Afternoon
All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretence
Our wanderings to guide.
Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour,
Beneath such dreamy weather,
To beg a tale of breath too weak
To stir the tiniest feather!
Yet what can one poor voice avail
Against three tongues together?
Imperious Prima flashes forth
Her edict “to begin it”:
In gentler tones Secunda hopes
“There will be nonsense in it!”
While Tertia interrupts the tale
Not more than once a minute.
Anon, to sudden silence won,
In fancy they pursue
The dream-child moving through a land
Of wonders wild and new,
In friendly chat with bird or beast—
And half believe it true?
And ever, as the story drained
The wells of fancy dry,
And faintly strove that weary one
To put the subject by,
“The rest next time—” “It is next time!”
The happy voices cry.
Thus grew the tale of Wonderland:
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were hammered out—
And now the tale is done,
And home we steer, a merry crew,
Beneath the setting sun.
Alice! A childish story take,
And with a gentle hand,
Lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined
In Memory’s mystic band,
Like pilgrim’s wither’d wreath of flowers
Pluck’d in a far-off land.
The initial publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was a limited run on July 4th, 1885 (3 years to the date of the famous "golden afternoon" which Lewis Carroll spent with the Dean of Oxford's young daughters, Ina, Edith, and Alice (referenced in the poem above) telling them stories which inspired the version we know now.  
Later that year, November 18th, 1885, the "first" edition was published (though November 26th was also mentioned), although the books themselves are dated 1886.  
For a wonderful resource site for all things Alice, click here.
Curious and Curiouser tartans inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass ... by designer Carol Martin.
Tartan design by Carol A.L. Martin
The Cheshire Cat is a fictional character in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and is known for its mischievous grin and the perplexing advice it gives to Alice. It baffles everyone by having made its head appear without its body.
At one point, the cat disappears gradually until nothing is left but its grin, prompting Alice to remark that 'she has often seen a cat without a grin but never a grin without a cat'.
Tartan design by Carol A.L. Martin
The Hatter is a fictional character in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He is often referred to as the Mad Hatter, though this term was never used by Carroll. The phrase "mad as a hatter" pre-dates Carroll's works and the characters the Hatter and the March Hare are initially referred to as "both mad" by the Cheshire Cat, with both first appearing in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in the seventh chapter titled "A Mad Tea Party."
Tartan design by Carol A.L. Martin
Tweedledum and Tweedledee are fictional characters in an English nursery rhyme and in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Their names may have originally come from an epigram written by poet John Byrom.
Tartan design by Carol A.L. Martin
Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.
Tartan design by Carol A.L. Martin
The Red Queen is a fictional character in Lewis Carroll's fantasy novel, Through the Looking-Glass. the Red Queen explains the rules of Chess to Alice, especially concerning promotion — specifically that Alice is able to become a queen by starting out as a pawn and reaching the eighth square at the opposite end of the board. As a queen in the game of Chess, the Red Queen is as able to move swiftly and effortlessly.
Tartan design by Carol A.L. Martin
The Red King is the consort of the Queen of Hearts. The King also quietly pardons many of the subjects the Queen has ordered to be beheaded when the Queen is not looking. This guarantees few people are actually beheaded. Nevertheless, when the Queen plays a game of croquet in the story, the only players who remain at the end are himself, the Queen, and Alice.
Tartan design by Carol A.L. Martin
A Red Knight gallops up and takes Alice prisoner. Then a White Knight gallops up and challenges him to a battle over her.
Alice hides behind a tree while the Knights fight. Their battle is silly and haphazard; they hold their clubs with their arms instead of their hands and they fall off their horses a lot. Eventually the Red Knight gallops away and the White Knight seems to be victorious.
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