Thursday, 23 February 2012


The links between Lewis Carroll and the city in which I was born (and still reside near) give this whole project a new history to be explored.

On my route to work, the number 26 bus passes an important landmark to Carroll. I always liked to take this bus as it goes the longer route and I could look at all the houses and people rather than just a road or two.  Noticing one day a blue plaque affixed to the wall of Holy Trinity church in Southwick, I discovered that this was where our friend Carroll had often visited during his time in the area.
It is also rumoured that he based his nonsense rhyme "Jabberwocky" on the tale of the Lambton Worm, a famous story in County Durham featuring the same kind of old fashioned language and colloquialisms familiar to this area.  He is said to have written this part of the book whilst staying in Whitburn - jolly good show, I adore Whitburn and can imagine in his time it was much more beautiful.

Bryan Talbot enjoyed the link so much that he wrote an entire graphic novel about it, Alice In Sunderland, mirroring areas of the city with places in the book.  Although it is historically said to be set in Oxford, Talbot believes the copy could be transposed to this area just as easily.  His book explores the history of the area alongside dream imagery and examining the story of Alice herself - he describes it as "not an academic read.  It is subtitled entertainment"

I am inspired to take a short tour of locations in Talbot's book and perhaps use photographs of these as inspiration.  Either way, it feels nice to live somewhere so inextricably linked to such a wonderful story and my excitement in beginning is growing like Alice eating mushrooms!

Postman called again bringing me a beautiful boxed wooden chess set and a decal of one of the original John Tenial illustrations....getting closer to beginning and it's feeling good.


  1. He gave a talk at my college did Brian Talbot,talked about how he draws his stuff,really just a prelude for a hard sell at the end to buy his book.The place was four deep with super fans who wanted to analyse every panel.

  2. Are you a fan of his? Does he inspire you?


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