Sir John Tenniel, Alice and the Cheshire Cat, a design engraved on wood by the Dalziel Brothers

England, AD 1865

An illustration to Lewis Carrol's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), p. 91

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland began as an impromptu story told by Charles Dodgson (1832-98), a mathematics lecturer at Oxford University, to the daughters of a colleague (Alice, Lorina and Edith Liddell) while on a boating trip. For Alice, Dodgson expanded his story into book form, published in 1865; Alice Through the Looking Glass followed in 1871. They remain a great popular success.

Dodgson provided his own illustrations to the books, but while the type was being set, he was persuaded to employ a more competent draughtsman. John Tenniel (1821-1914), who already had received high praise for his illustrations to Thomas Moore's Lalla Rookh (1861), was chosen for the task. Dodgson provided such specific instructions for Tenniel that their working relationship became strained. The resulting illustrations, however, proved a success. They were engraved on wood by the Dalziel Brothers, who ran the most important wood-engraving workshop of the time.

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More information


P. Goldman, Victorian Illustrated Books 18 (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)


Height: 136.000 mm
Width: 100.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1913-4-15-181 (346)

not found on MERLIN


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