Join local artist David Delamare and publisher Wendy Ice at The Fernie Brae Gallery, 4035 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Friday, December 18, from 5 to 8 pm for a celebration of the arrival of the new long-awaited edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

In December 2013 we reported that Delamare and Ice had turned to Kickstarter to fund a deluxe edition of the book and the project raised over $83,000.

Their book is now complete and an advance copy is on display at Fernie Brae. December 18 will be the first day the Alice books are available to the public, and the only day they will be for sale until all preordered books have been mailed to the backers. Once those books are on their way, copies will be available to the public again through his site daviddelamare.com and at The Fernie Brae.

British-born artist and book illustrator Delamare has lived in the Hawthorne area since the age of three. Local art patrons recall his early shows at Hawthorne’s Graystone Gallery.

Delamare met Wendy Ice (then the editor of this newspaper) twenty years ago during a Hawthorne Street Fair and asked her to model. They’ve been together ever since and Ice has long acted as his agent, manager and publisher.

Alice is Delamare’s eleventh book, but his first published in-house. Inspired by the support of more than eight hundred international backers, Ice wanted to pursue a more ambitious layout.

By David Delamare

By David Delamare

“Many of our backers will be reading this book aloud to children, and I wanted, when possible, for pages to end at meaningful pauses – not just mid-sentence. I also wanted art on every page spread of the story, and wanted the image to relate to that specific text.”

These goals required Delamare to dramatically increase the number of illustrations to ninety-four. This might be a new record for the number of traditional color illustrations in a single Alice book.

Ice’s British co-editor Dr. Selwyn H. Goodacre, widely considered the foremost authority on Alice texts, reported in his 2015 book, Elucidating Alice:

“Not to be outdone at the prestigious end of the market, Nelson issued an edition with 92 full color illustrations by Harry Rountree. This wonderful volume still holds the record for the largest number of color pictures for an edition of Alice – an incredible achievement for a book appearing before 1910.”

Ice worked closely with Goodacre to finalize his forty-year pursuit of a “definitive” text (defined as what Carroll would have wished at the time of his death). During the process, she discovered a number of subjective decisions and after working with Dr. Goodacre, she recruited a team of volunteer “backer” proofreaders to discuss and debate the intricacies of grammar and punctuation. She used this input, and that of leaders in the Carroll community, to create a resource for editors which will soon be online at definitive-alice.com.

Two patrons funded travel expenses, allowing Ice to speak at conferences at the University of Cambridge (UK) and in New York. Another donated funds to the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature enabling the museum to acquire four original illustrations from the book.

The improvements to the book resulted in it being published in 2015, the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Alice and the couple received their advance copy of the book during the same week in November that Lewis Carroll received his.

An exhibit of Delamare’s prints opens December 15  and runs through January 15 at The Fernie Brae. Delamare will sell and sign his new book as well as framed giclee prints from the Alice book and original mermaid paintings on Friday December 18, the first day the Alice books are available to the public. This will be the only day they will be available for sale until all the preordered books have been mailed to its Kickstarter backers. See daviddelamare.com.

 

Little-known facts about Alice

• Alice is the third most quoted book in the English language.

• 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the book.

• The story has been translated into more than 170 languages and dialects.

• The first (handwritten) version of the story was a Christmas gift to Alice Liddell.

• Lewis Carroll’s real name was the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

• The book is beloved by mathematicians and philosophers too.

• The Rev. Dodgson considered other pen names, including Edgar Cuthwellis.

• He also considered other titles – among them Alice’s Hour in Elfland