Author Archive for Eaton Library

Novel Conversations

Happy (un-un)Birthday Lewis Carroll

This year marks the 185th Birthday of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known to us all as Lewis Carroll.

Born in 1832, Carroll was the oldest son and the third oldest sibling in a family of 11 children. Afflicted with a stammer which impeded his social interaction with adults, he found he connected easier with children. In fact, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, his first and most famous novel, would never have been published if not for one of his child friends, Alice Liddell, who asked him to tell her a story on an afternoon rowing trip in 1862.

Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll had no plan to become a children’s author. As he notes in his diary, when he told Alice Liddell and her two sisters “the interminable Alice’s adventures” they continually asked him to retell the tale. It was as much a Christmas gift to himself as it was for the girls when he presented them with a hand written (and illustrated) copy of the story. The girls could now read Alice’s adventure whenever they wanted. Seeing how well the tale worked inspired Carroll to publish his novel and by the time the book was printed, new scenes had been added with a Mad Hatter and a Cheshire Cat.

What’s in a name?

While today, “Alice” and “Wonderland” go hand-in-hand, it wasn’t always so; the original title was Alice’s Adventure Underground. Wanting something more exciting for publication he began toying with titles such as Alice’s Golden HourAlice Among the Fairies and Alice’s Hour in Elfland. Carroll would finally (and thankfully) settle on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

A brand pioneer

Carroll was a savvy marketer which is perhaps the main reason Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is so well known today, even for those who have never read the book. Almost a century before Walt Disney’s Alice related tie-ins, Carroll commissioned postage stamp containers, cookie tins, note pads and copies of his original hand written manuscript. Recognising the value of reaching a young audience, he also edited his book into a shorter, young readers’ edition.

The many hats of Lewis Carroll

A famous anecdote tells how Queen Victoria, so impressed with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, requested a first edition of Carroll’s next book. The story goes that Carroll duly sent it to her, a theoretical mathematical work entitled An Elementary Treatise on Determinants. While the tale was refuted by Carroll himself, it illustrates his ‘double life’ as both a children’s author and an accomplished mathematician. Carroll also fancied himself an inventor (the words ‘chortle’ and ‘galumph’ are both ascribed to him) and he created numerous word games, including an early version of Scrabble as well as a night-time note-taking device he called a Nyctograph.

Carroll’s books have never been out of print

As you read this, a printing press somewhere is printing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Since its publication the book has never been out of print and has been translated into 176 languages. Its sequels, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, sold out within seven weeks of publication. 

Discover more about Lewis Carroll and his novels on our catalogue. Our collection includes a complete edition of his children’s stories, biographies and adaptations of his work, so why not come in for a visit.

Book Talk

Here are some new additions to Shire of Dardanup Library Services, plus more from our broad selection of titles you may enjoy. 

Click on the title or the cover to visit our catalogue and place a hold on any of these items:

In Fiction

The Boy on the Bridge by MR Carey

Set in the same world as The Girl With All the Gifts but can be easily read as a stand-alone novel. This post-apocalyptic story is set in a world that has been ravaged by the Cordyceps plague leaving a population of walking dead. There is hope though in the form of scientists like Dr. Samrina Khan working to combat the plague from a mobile lab. Travelling with Dr. Khan is an autistic boy, Stephen Greaves who has a brilliant mind and may offer hope in their mission. A brilliant read that is quite simply un-put-downable.
Goodreads rating 4.1/5

Dunstan by Conn Iggulden

A highly rated and reviewed historical novel set in days of Anglo-Saxon England, the year 937. Conn Iggulden’s writing takes you right into the heart of history with beautiful descriptive narrative bringing the Saxon world to life. Dunstan is a complex character of light and dark who goes on to become Abbott of Glastonbury Abbey, the Bishop of Worcester, Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 900’s AD, and was later canonised as a saint. You may not like Dunstan the character but he certainly is great fodder for an engaging read.
Goodreads rating 4.28/5


In Non-Fiction

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Gann

True crime novel Killers of the Flower Moon re-examines a series of shocking crimes where dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. The Osage Indians lived in Kansas until the 1870’s when oil was discovered beneath the reservation, this coupled with racial prejudices lead to brutal and terrifying deaths. When the deaths reached 24 the Bureau of Investigation moved in. This is a heartbreaking and devastating read but also riveting and necessary.
Goodreads rating 4.21/5

Green is the New Black : Inside Australia’s Hardest Women’s Jails by James Phelps
Award winning journalist James Phelps reveals in detail what it is like inside Australia’s hardest women’s jails. Some of the inmates include drug dealers, rapists and fallen celebrities but some of the most shocking criminals revealed is cannibal killer Katherine Knight and Rebecca Butterfield, self-mutilating murderer who sliced guards and stabbed another inmate 33 times – she needs to be restrained in chains and is guarded full-time. This is a revealing true crime read.
Goodreads rating 3.35/5




Great Wall

Starring Matt Damon, Tian Jing and William Dafoe The Great Wall is an action packed and fast paced fantasy movie set in China. Matt Damon’s character William is imprisoned in the Great Wall where he battles beasts and joins an army to save the world. The costumes and scenes were amazing, plenty of action and suspense for a great movie adventure. Rated M
IMBD rating 6/10


Logan is getting old, his power to heal has dwindled and he makes a living working as a chauffeur. It’s 2029 and the mutant population has shrunk. Logan takes care of the ailing Professor X who he keeps hidden away in a remote, disused building. One day a young girl turns up wanting Logan to take her to the border. The Professor has been waiting for her to appear for she possesses an extraordinary fighting prowess and is in many ways like Wolverine. Initially reluctant, Logan and Professor X do take the girl on a road trip to the Canadian border but they are being pursued the whole way by sinister figures. Great finale to the Logan/Wolverine franchise –Rated MA15+
IMBD rating 8.3/10


You may have missed . . .

This month we feature two popular ebooks, a quick and efficient option to access a great range of titles.

Audio books can be accessed directly from the library catalogue.  Use your library card to check out eAudiobooks 24/7.  Download to compatible devices (sorry, not currently available for Kindles) and take your portable library with you.  Check out our user guide or the help page for information on downloading to specific devices.

Would I Lie to You by Peter Holmes

If you have seen the hugely popular and hilarious game show Would I Lie to You then this book will seriously delight and amuse. Here is a collections of 100 lies that you may (or not) recognize. Very witty and laugh out loud funny, this e-book will have you in stitches.
Goodreads rating 3.52/5

Glued to the Box by Clive James

The final instalment in Clive James’s collections of TV criticism in The Observer including pieces originally published between 1979 and 1982. Adding to an already unforgettable collection of comic brilliance, fans of Visions Before Midnight and The Crystal Bucket will not be disappointed.
Goodreads rating 4.07/5



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