THE DARK SIDE OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

The Darks Side of Alice in Wonderland by Angela Youngman
TitleThe Dark Side of Alice In Wonderland
AuthorAngela Youngman
PublisherPen & Sword History (April 14, 2021)
FormatKindle & Hardcover
Pages192
GenreHistory, British & Irish Literary Criticism, Popular
Culture / Social Sciences, Author Biographies
LanguageEnglish
ISBN #ISBN-10 : 1526785811
ISBN-13 : 978-1526785817

#British & Irish Literary Criticism #Author Biographies

AUTHOR

Angela Youngman

SYNOPSIS

The Dark Side of Alice in Wonderland is not merely an expose’ of the man behind the myth that is Alice in Wonderland; it is also a deep dive into the depths of depravity arising out of the concepts that Lewis Carroll introduced to the world. Angela Youngman leads us through the looking glass in an examination of the darker aspects of Lewis Carroll’s life. She includes a pantheon of related material arising from the Alice in Wonderland author’s immense global popularity. 

The Dark Side of Alice in Wonderland is presented to the reader as a patchwork of myths, interesting facts and other miscellaneous information collected from a variety of sources. The collation of research material provides the reader with a deep plunge into the somber elements that contribute to the life of this unique author and his factional creation. Youngman reveals how the real-life girl and the fictional character are blurred and codependent to some extent with each influencing the other.

Since the release of Alice in Wonderland, 160 years ago, the concepts shared in Carroll’s works became part of the global public psyche. The narrative has been reconstructed by each culture into its own unique derivation from the original. The etymology seems to be unlimited, and the popularity of Alice in Wonderland is still going strong today. There appears to be no constraints to the original concepts heterogeneity; nor does there seem any limit to the Aesopian utilization of the initial concept in the present. The Dark side of Alice in Wonderland focuses far more on the use, or misuse depending upon your view, of the multifarious versions of the corrupted original. 

The character of Alice has been hijacked and transformed into a revolutionary immersive theatre concept in which audiences act out her identity, or witness performers doing so. The fictional Alice has been psychoanalyzed, linked to hallucinogenic drugs, used to label medical conditions, used in adult coloring books, and a myriad of other alternative conceptualizations. In addition, there are the mysteries that continually surround her creator with suggestions of child abuse, pedophilia and madness – even suggestions of Carroll’s link to Jack the Ripper.

CONCLUSION

The Dark side of Alice in Wonderland is as disturbing and cringeworthy as it is compelling. 

Angela Youngman presents an unclouded account of the omnipresent influence of Carroll’s Wonderland legacy. She manages to make a prescient analysis of her collated data and demonstrates it in such a way as to allow the reader to color their own view. It is here that Youngman demonstrates her superiority in her writing style and presentation. Not all authors encourage readers to come to their own opinion but with Youngman’s writing it appears that this was her purpose from the inception. Youngman never allows distressing elements of the book to occult the more interesting information and the result makes for a compelling read.

The author’s style is engaging and seductive. Although she discusses some vile concepts, she never goes full salacious. Instead, she prefers maintaining an element of decorum whilst describing the pestilent aspects of the life and times of the eponymous Lewis Carroll‘s child focused literature. 

The Dark Side of Alice in Wonderland is sometimes nightmarish, other times profoundly moving. Youngman has produced a must read for all those faithful fanatics of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematics lecturer at Christ Church College, Oxford; also known as Lewis Carroll. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Angela YoungmanNetGalley, and Pen & Sword History for affording me the opportunity to review The Dark Side of Alice In Wonderland.

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