Happy Mad Hatter day! What a wonderful day and a very merry unbirthday, to me! I really enjoy Alice in Wonderland. All of the versions are wonderful in my opinion. Apparently, a group of computer technicians in Boulder, Colorado first celebrated Mad Hatter Day in 1986 as a day of silliness. In case you're wondering why today is Mad Hatter day, October 6th matches the label tucked in the Mad Hatter’s hat band that reads “In this style 10/6.” This also lends itself to a perfect Doodle topic!
On July 4, 1862 Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll was his pen name), accompanied by the three eldest daughters of the Dean of Christ Church, Lorina, Alice and Edith, and The Rev. Robinson Duckworth of Trinity College, took a boat trip ‘up the river to Godstow’. During the trip, the first outlines of the story of Alice’s Adventures under Ground were narrated. On return to Christ Church, Alice urged Dodgson to write out the story for her. That evening and on a train journey the next day, he set out the main headings. He started a manuscript text on November 13, 1862, completing it on February 10, 1863.
It is likely that he left spaces in the text to be filled with his own illustrations at a later date. The manuscript was seen by the novelist Henry Kingsley and the family of the writer of children’s books George MacDonald, who all urged him to consider publication.
Dodgson retained the manuscript version for reference as he expanded the book into the fuller text of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In November 1864 he presented the manuscript volume of Alice’s Adventures under Ground, complete with his own illustrations, to Alice Liddell. Meanwhile, the artist John Tenniel was approached and commissioned to illustrate the final expanded text of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The book was published on commission by Macmillan & Co., in July 1865, in an edition of 2000 printed by the Oxford University Press, the copies to be bound in red cloth gilt. Only 50 copies had been bound when Dodgson heard from Tenniel that he was dissatisfied with the way the pictures came out. The book was withdrawn, and recipients of presentation copies asked to return them. The rejected copies were presented to children’s hospitals and institutions – 23 copies of the ‘1865 Alice’ are known to have survived.
In November 1865, the second edition of 2,000 copies was published, using a new printer (Richard Clay of Bungay). The new edition was said by Dodgson to be a ‘perfect piece of artistic printing’.
In 1869 Dodgson began to write Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice found there. This was published, again with illustrations by John Tenniel, at Christmas 1871, in an edition of 9000 copies (actually dated 1872).
In the 1890s Dodgson made major revisions to both books, which were incorporated in the new electrotype settings for the 86th thousand of Alice’s Adventures and the 61st thousand of Looking-Glass, both published in 1897.