And Tom? Ah, now comes the most wonderful part of this wonderful story. Tom, when he woke, for of course he woke—found himself swimming about in the stream, being about four inches, or—that I may be accurate—3.87902 inches long. In fact, the fairies had turned him into a water-baby.
I’m looking forward to giving a talk at the Heath Robinson Museum’s ‘Visualising the Water-Babies’ exhibition on the 2nd of November 2017.
With a focus on Linley Sambourne’s illustrations, but also including those of W.H. Robinson and Margaret Tarrant, I will look into the encoded messages of the tale’s illustrations, the cultural, scientific and social background they draw on, to illuminate the importance of fantasy in Kingsley’s fairy-tale and its visualizations. Thus, I will also address the question whether or not The Water-Babies is, really, a story for children.
‘Lewis Carroll and Violence’
Professor Dame Gillian Beer
7:00 pm Friday 13 October, The Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT
Lewis Carroll’s worlds of the imagination are places of unexpectedly violent encounters: from the despotic Queen of Hearts terrorising Wonderland with threats of wholesale decapitation to those battling duos beyond the Looking-Glass, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Lion and the Unicorn and the Red and White Knights.
The literary critic and academic, Gillian Beer – whose book, Alice in Space: The Sideways Victorian World of Lewis Carroll, has recently been awarded the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Criticism – is eminently placed to explore this topic in the Lewis Carroll Society’s 11th Roger Lancelyn Green Memorial Lecture.
Tickets £10 may be booked on line: http://lewiscarrollsociety.org.uk/store/
The Roger Lancelyn Green Memorial Lecture was inaugurated in 1988 by The Lewis Carroll Society to commemorate the work of the noted biographer and literary scholar, Roger Lancelyn Green, whose books include works on Lewis Carroll, J M Barrie, C S Lewis, Andrew Lang and Rudyard Kipling as well the seminal book on Children’s Literature, Tellers of Tales and many books for young readers retelling classic myths and legends.
Past Roger Lancelyn Green Memorial Lecturers include Sir Jonathan Miller CBE, John Vernon Lord, Colin Ford CBE and Professor Morton N Cohen.