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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.

Celebrating National Science Week

August 12-20 is National Science Week and we are celebrating with our new junior science display.

Read More →

August 2017 Calendar!

Think you know libraries? Think again.

It’s finally here… The last month of winter! And we’ve got an exciting calendar in AUGUST to see you through to the end of the chilly months.

Our Makeup Masterclasses are back again this month with a workshop on Contouring.

Come along and learn how to enhance your favourite features and disguise your least favourite using makeup!

We also have Mish Pope joining us from Oils with Mish who will teach you how to make beautiful DIY perfume rollerballs using essential oils.

And June is back with another fantastic Urban Gardening workshop!

This month she will discuss succulents and how you can use them to make Japanese inspired Kokedamas.

So what are you waiting for? Book now!

Don’t forget… all our August Calendar of Activities workshops are FREE but places are limited so BOOK NOW!

Click here to download the August calendar now.

Have you watched us on YouTube? 

We have just uploaded a series of informative videos to help you get to know your online library. Read More →

What’s New

Little Gigglers has Moved to Eaton

Due to popular demand the Little Gigglers sessions are now in EATON!

These music and movement programs will say goodbye to the more traditional storytime and rhymetime and say hello to fun, exciting programs that will have your children begging to return every week.

With plenty of music, instruments and props this session is perfect for toddlers.

Bookings are essential. Click here to book your place now.

Eaton: Friday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th – 10:30am – 11:00am

It’s easier than ever to get a library card at the Shire of Dardanup libraries!

You can register online to get a library card, then come in to the library to complete the process.

Go to the online library catalogue and click on the Join link.

Complete the registration form, read through the Terms and Conditions, click Accept, and make note of your temporary ID number.

Bring that number and your government-issued ID to either the Eaton or Dardanup libraries and pick up your library card!

To make the process even easier, we’ve added a registration kiosk at the Eaton library.