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Alice in Wonderland Day
“Now, here, you see,” says the Red Queen, “it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
~ Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll, 1871
Happy Alice in Wonderland Day, the day of the "golden afternoon" in 1862 when Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll) first told his fanciful tale to 10 year old Alice Liddell, the middle daughter of Dean of Christchurch, Oxford. These tales were published in the following years as "Alice's Adventures Underground" (1865) and "Through the Looking Glass" (1871). The story and plot of "Through the Looking Glass" is a somewhat disguised, playable, albeit whimsical chess game! The Red Queen is a story character, rude, domineering, and obsessed with nonsensical etiquette who represents the red queen chess piece and persuades Alice to join the game as the White Queen's pawn. All manner of adventures ensue as Alice and the other characters travel through the story which can be interpreted as moves in a chess game! A chess variant invented in 1953, named " Alice Chess" is a tribute to this story and employs two chessboards rather than one and a slight (but significant) alteration to the standard rules of chess. The famous scene where Alice is transported through a mirror into "Looking Glass World" is portrayed on the chessboards by the after-move transfer of chess pieces between boards A and B! Curiouser and curiouser! Tea and chess today? 🐇☕️🎩🍰🃏🪄🫖🐁🍄💐⏱️🐈⬛🔮
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (also known as Alice Through the Looking-Glass or simply Through the Looking-Glass) is a novel published on 27 December 1871 by Lewis Carroll, a mathematics professor at the University of Oxford, and is the sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865).
Alice again enters a fantastical world, this time by climbing through a mirror into the world that she can see beyond it. There she finds that, just like a reflection, everything is reversed, including logic (for example, running helps one remain stationary, walking away from something brings one towards it, chessmen are alive, nursery rhyme characters exist, and so on).
Through the Looking-Glass includes such well-known verses as "Jabberwocky" and "The Walrus and the Carpenter", and the episode involving Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
The mirror above the fireplace that is displayed at Hetton Lawn in Charlton Kings, Gloucestershire (a house that was owned by Alice Liddell's grandparents, and was regularly visited by Alice and Lewis Carroll) resembles the one drawn by John Tenniel and is cited as a possible inspiration for Carroll.
For more on the Alice Chess variant, click Alice and the Red Queen.