1920s

The Amazing World of Alice in Wonderland

1920

In March 1920, the publishers A&C Black wrote to the renowned musician and folk song collector, Lucy Broadwood, proposing she write a collection of songs and music to accompany Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Two albums of rhymes had previously been published by Annie E Armstong, illustrated by Charles J Folkard (1878-1963), a prolific children’s illustrator, who had supplied drawings for children’s books such as The Arabian Nights and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The publisher included a full list of rhymes and was very specific in what they wanted: “…we should like tunes as simple as those in “English Nursery Rhymes” and in a way – with plain tune for the right hand and simple harmonies for the left”. Lucy’s fee was £40.00 and the book, Songs from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, including illustrations by Folkard, was published in 1921.

Astonishingly, in the Broadwood archives, at Surrey History Centre, is the original correspondence from A&C Black to Lucy, her manuscript music to some of the songs, and the full published version of the book (SHC refs 2185/LEB/5/59, 2185/3/178-181, and LC/62).

Click on the image below to see a larger copy.

Lucy's manuscript score for 'Will you walk a little faster?' (The Lobster Quadrille) (SHC ref 2185/LEB/5/59)

Lucy’s manuscript score for ‘Will you walk a little faster?’ (The Lobster Quadrille)
(SHC ref 2185/LEB/5/59)

The front cover of <em>Songs from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass</em>, 1921<br/>(A&amp;C Black; SHC ref LC/62)

The front cover of Songs from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, 1921
(A&C Black; SHC ref LC/62)

1926

Reginald Hargreaves died at Cuffnells, on Valentine’s Day. Alice continued to live with her remaining son, Caryl.

1928

Alice came to a difficult decision and, in need of financial support, sold the original manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground for the then-enormous sum of £15,400. ‘I am very pleased at the price,’ she said. ‘It is a large sum of money and I do not yet know what I shall do with it.’

1929

Alice’s son, Caryl, married Madeleine Hanbury-Tracy, on 6th June. Madeleine was a widow, with two sons; they had a child of their own, Mary Jean Rosalie Alice, in 1931.

Illustration of 'Hiawatha's Photographing' by Arthur B Frost, from Lewis Carroll's Phantasmagoria and Other Poems. Originally published in 1869, this edition was re-printed in 1929 by Macmillan & Co. (SHC ref 081CAR)

Illustration of ‘Hiawatha’s Photographing’ by Arthur B Frost, from Lewis Carroll’s Phantasmagoria and Other Poems. Originally published in 1869, this edition was re-printed in 1929 by Macmillan & Co. (SHC ref 081CAR)

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