The new Alice in Wonderland film has inspired a whirlwind of parties and events around the world. It's great that the Alice books can stimulate so many imaginative ideas! Even though I may not be particularly keen on Tim Burton's Alice escapade, I am thrilled to see so many people get excited about the Alice books.
We were happy to be invited to a Mad-Hatter's Tea Party at the University of Illinois's Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The Library was finishing a good exhibit of Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland materials that are housed there titled "Curioser and Curioser: The Games and Mindgames of Lewis Carroll." The most interesting objects on exhibit were the chessboard that Lewis Carroll used and letters that Carroll wrote to a child in mirror script.
It was an astonishingly fun party for children and adults surounded by objects that Carroll either created or owned. The party featured giant cards, a beautifully set tea table, cookies marked "Eat Me," and an amazing cake shaped liked a chessboard complete with chocolate and white chocolate chess pieces. The Cheshire Cat told the true story of her origins. The Mad Hatter munched on carrots and apples and was a delightful master of ceremonies. The Caterpillar smoked a soap bubble hookah. Children and adults were dressed up in great costumes. It was the best Mad-Tea Party we've been to.