Friday, April 6, 2012

Mad about the Hat - HAPPY BIRTHDAY CDS!!

Couture Doll just turned two, and we are celebrating with a big ol' Mad Hatter's Tea Party, and for some of you that may be interested, story time begins here - with an interesting take on the author of the incredible books that brought you not only the Mad Hatter and Alice - but many intriguing and fun characters!!   BUT if you are rarin' to go to the party, you can always eat this...uh I mean click the link in the sweet to get to our site where there is a banner link to the party.  I'll be over there soon - you go ahead.

The author of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" is Lewis Carroll. This is an pseudonym; his real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.  He was born January 27, 1832,  a reverend's son, and later became a deacon.  He may have been a sincere Christian, but some of his actions may make you think he had religious doubts. He never became a priest which is what deacons were expected to do in those days, and he never married.

His physique was asymmetric; he had eyes not at the same level, one shoulder higher than the other, and an askew smile.  Deafness claimed one ear due to a childhood injury and he was plagued with insomnia.  Although he was said to be six foot tall, he ate very little - reportedly only one meal a day - so he was quite thin.  However, he overcame any adversities and wrote the Alice books, and became the most quoted author after Shakespeare and the Bible!

I tell you these things from the viewpoint of looking at HIM through the looking glass.  Somehow it all makes sense that he would sit around and ponder and pen his thoughts in his spare time.  It is reported he was very shy and very factual.  He would send out very well organized letters if someone offended him (or seemed to).  And, here is the twist that may shock some if you are not familiar with this author of tales that have been retold for generations and seen on the silver screen by millions!!  

He had a precise interest in little girls.  He was adamant about telling them stories, and is said to take along games in case he met someone interesting and wanted to prolong the meeting.   Understandably, most of his friendships did not last long because most mothers were guarded about any long term relationships their daughters might have with a man they hardly knew.  But I have no specific reports of any wrong doing from Carroll, so I prefer to look at the wonderful works he presented and move on past this part of the story that is here only because it is important to explaining how he got to the point of inventing Alice.

It was through a gathering or some such occasion that he happened to meet Alice Liddell, the favorite of all his acquaintances, and the one he based his stories on.  It was her personality he looked to as he molded the character, but her looks weren't what he imagined for his character.  


In fact, she wasn't even blonde - she was a brunette.  So when it came time for John Tenniel to take over illustrations, Carroll wanted more control than Tenniel would accept.  Carroll sent him pictures of another child friend, Mary Hilton Badcock, but Carrol felt the final output wasn't a match but the public who knew about her likeness did.  It is to the odd pictures Tenniel did such as the one with her elongated head and small feet Carroll referred to with scorn.

Despite all Carroll's misgivings about the illustrations in June of 1865 The Clarendon Press in Oxford, printed 2000 copies of Alice's Adventures.  Despite dissatisfaction with the printing, this time from Tenniel, by all accounts Carroll revealed to the real Alice in a letter that by 1885 120,00 copies of  Wonderland had been sold!  More success followed through the sometimes labored pairing of Carroll and Tennniel.  In fact, it took them only one year - from 1871 to 1872 - to sell over 15,000 copies of the story!  One would have to conclude, therefore, that there was something to the odd quality control each artist exerted.

Ah, mahvelous artists who draw, sew, paint, tattoo, write, and produce all kinds of wonderful work from so many mediums.  It is to them and to the fine artists (shop owners) of Couture Doll Shop that we, the management, tip our hats for the growth we've seen from them during their journey with CDS.  As their manager I, Dot Festeu, have personally tried to mentor them to produce more and to increase their quality - something they have had no problem doing.  I and the CDS owner, Larraine Elcock, have watched them grow from day one till today - to the point of producing their most  beautiful work to date - the couture clothing for our Mad Hatter Birthday Party!!  

It is my pleasure to send you on over there now.  Be sure to see it all - The Tea Party, the stories about the characters,  the Shops that have the designs, and the free drawings.  Oh yes, in appreciation for your support that has made CDS' success possible, we are having TEN special free drawings for our public - enter one or enter all - just read the rules and proceed on that page!

Thanks for allowing me to work at my dream job where I have met so many nice people these last two years - now let's get this party started.  Just drink click on one of our shop's delights down below (hint: it says Drink Me!) to go over to CDS; then click the Mad Hatter Birthday Party button and then journey on - each page will have buttons to take you everywhere.  Come on; it won't be the same without YOU!!

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