Atomium Escalator: Travelling through hyperspace in the Belgian tourist attraction
The pictures I want to share in this post aren't from a book which is that old, but features sketches for the illustrations of two of my favourite old books – Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
Tenniel's Alice was printed in 1978 by the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts at Harvard University and features images from the university's archive by Sir John Tenniel – his preliminary sketches for the Alice books.
These drawings provide a fascinating glimpse of his iconic wood-engraved illustrations before they were carved into wood. According to the introduction the sketches would be made on paper, transferred onto the woodblocks and then carved into the block (the white space being the bits that got removed) by the well-known Victorian engravers the Brothers Dalziel.
Equally as interesting is Carroll's own illustration of Humpty Dumpty, an example of one of the author's drawings which weren't considered good enough for publication but gave Tenniel a place to start.
Tenniel was a pretty prolific artist, who was blind in one eye and lost his sight entirely later in life, but is best known for his Alice drawings. They're inspirational as artwork and as an example of how images can work with storytelling and writing to create something that's even greater than the sum of its extraordinary parts.
I've been assembling a list of the lesser-known books Tenniel created illustrations for and hope to track them down and share the scans in future posts. Check out my Pictures from Old Books Pinterest Board for the full gallery of Tenniel's Alice.
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Mark is a freelancer who specialises in creative copywriting and content creation. Starting out as a freelance blogger he's experienced at putting his copywriting skills to work on a variety of subjects and can easily turn his hand to different styles. In his years as a freelance writer he's always brought a creative edge to everything he's written.
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Based in Devon Mark lives within questing distance of the UK's Middle Earth aka Dartmoor. He likes his detectives hard-boiled, his eggs runny, and his time travel non-paradoxical.
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