Friday, 22 August 2008

Back to Cambridge

This edition, illustrated by the famous Swedish artist Robert Högfeldt, was published in Stockholm in 1949. The illustrations were first made for the Swedish translation from 1945.

Eight years ago when I came to Cambridge for the first time we had a couple of free hours between conference sessions, and where do conference people go if not the bookshops. There are plenty of these in Cambridge, but one is especially charming, The Haunted Bookstore, a second-hand bookshop for children’s books. And what do I see there if not a whole shelf of various editions of Alice in Wonderland. I had at that time several Russian translations with different illustrations, but I had never done any serious research. This was too great a temptation. I couldn’t carry all the books on a transatlantic flight (we lived in California then), but the bookshop shipped them to me by surface mail.

This was the beginning of my Alice collection. Today I have 250 volumes in twenty or thirty languages, beautiful and ugly, small and large, thick and thin, pop-up books and jigsaw-puzzle books, several movies, a computer game, a pack of cards, and a few mugs. Now the initial collection has returned to Cambridge.

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