Friday, November 06, 2009

No, no! Sentence first-verdict afterwards! The Queen of Hearts

"How close parts of Carroll's fantasy came to Victorian reality is suggested in Stanley Weintraub's biography of Queen Victoria, which takes as an epigraph the Queen of Heart's statement," I don't know what you mean by your way. All the ways around here belong to me" as personifying Queen Victoria's autocratic and fanciful behavior.

Some scenes from Victoria's life read as though they came from the Alice books. Ceremonial dinners, for example, were cleared away while guests were still eating, the instant the queen who was served first and are fast, had finished her portion, leaving visiting aristocrats hungry and humiliated.
When arguments were not going her way, Victoria flirted with madness, clutching her head and crying, "My reason! My reason!"

The Queen was haughtily remote from her subjects, never read a newspaper, opposed reform, and rigorously supported social hierarchies. She was so pompous that her son, Edward VII, joked that she was reluctant to go to heaven because "there the angels would precede her."
Jackie Wullschlager, Inventing Wonderland, 1995


Side One: The executioner's argument was that you couldn't cut off a head unless there was a body to cut it off from: that he had never had to do such a thing before, and he wasn't going to begin at his time of life.

Side Two: The King's argument was that anything that had a head could be beheaded.

Side Three: The Queen's argument was that if something wasn't done about it in less than no time she'd have everybody executed, all around.

Alice 's Adventures in Wonderland, 1865


  1. I'm going to have to reread this book.

  2. Same here.

    I have a Little Reader's pocket version of the first one, and while I thought it was a fun filled book to read (even did a partial review of it on my blog), this new info definitely puts a the book into a different light.

    May even search out that other book you're quoting as well.

  3. Even though it was entertainment for children, he spoofed Queen Victoria.... once again like a surrealist artist creates art. I guess it was his was of leading the adults who read it to the truth in that day and time. He was very clever in doing this or he may have been beheaded!

  4. Mim, reading it as an adult I have found it funny then I did the first. I've been doing a lot of reading about him too and he was quite talented. :)Bea

  5. I'm getting geared up, G, for March when the movie comes out and I get to see Johnny Depp as the MAD HATTER! What fun! :)Bea

  6. I'm learning quite a bit about him and the characters in the book. He was quite clever. :)Bea

  7. Oh what perfect casting Bea. I can't wait. I just love the book and have an urge to re-read it too. See what you've done?