Earlier this year I was approached by bookseller Jake Fior, who told me he’d recently discovered a chessboard, never previously known about, that he believed had been handpainted by Victorian Alice In Wonderland illustrator Sir John Tenniel.
Tenniel’s illustrations are absolutely central to how we perceive the character of Alice in the two worlds she visits, inside the rabbit hole and through the looking glass, meaning this was clearly a pretty significant discovery, especially as Through The Looking Glass is plotted to resemble a game of chess.
My piece on the find eventually appeared in yesterday’s The Times. Sadly, this is hidden behind a paywall, but thankfully The Telegraph reprinted pretty much the whole thing word-for-word later the same day. Fans of Alice should keep their eyes peeled on Cecil Court, where an Alice-themed boutique – complete with live white rabbit in the front window – will soon appear.
I think that calls for a song…