Arcturus Publishing offers a gorgeous line of illustrated and slip-cased editions of classic works and children’s books. Encompassing titles such as The Wizard of Oz, The Art of War and Gray’s Anatomy and including authors like Oscar Wilde, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and H.P. Lovecraft, this is a truly magnificent collection as well as an affordable way to begin building a beautiful library.
I admit to lusting after every title they offer, but I want to focus on the stellar Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I’ve always had a fascination with these books and thus own several copies of them- including another slip-cased version, that one in black and white with gold leaf cover accents. At least one copy is so well-read that it barely holds itself together. However, I think this may be my favorite rendition so far.
You can immediately tell by the sheer heft that this is a tome to be taken seriously. Well, as seriously as one can take a phantasmagorical multi-dimensional waking dream. The slipcover box is brightly illustrated with a scene from the Tea Party. The book itself is heavily bound in the Queen’s blood red, stamped with the heralding White Rabbit in black and silver.
The edition fairly explodes with color and movement, drawing the reader inexorably down the rabbit hole. This edition features the classic illustrations by Sir John Tenniel in both black and white line drawings and full color plates.
These are the kinds of books that perfect bedtimes are made of, magical fantasy lands offered up in sumptuous detail that will carry you off into vivid dreams and wake you again into a sparkling world of imagination.
“Alice, a childish story take,
And with a gentle hand
Lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined
In Memory’s mystic band,
Like pilgrim’s wither’d wreath of flowers
Pluck’d in a far off land.”