The prompts that accompanied these magic lantern slides borrow heavily from Lewis Carroll’s text, just as the slides closely echo Tenniel’s original designs
Very soon they came upon a Gryphon, and the Queen put Alice in his charge, saying she had to go back
and see after some executions. “What fun!” said the Gryphon: “What is the fun?” said Alice. “Why, she,”
said the Gryphon. “It’s all her fancy, that: they never executes nobody, you know. Come on!” So they
came to the Mock Turtle, sitting sad and lonely on a ledge of rock, and sighing as if his heart would
break. “This here young lady,” said the Gryphon, “she wants for to know your history, she do.” With
many sobs and eyes full of tears, the Mock Turtle told his story. “Once,” he began, “I was a real Turtle.
When we were little we went to school in the sea. The master was and old Turtle; we used to call him
Tortoise.” “Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?” “We called him Tortoise because he taught
us. We had the best of educations. I took the regular courses—couldn’t afford extras. There was Reeling
and Writhing to begin with, and then the different branches of Arithmetic: Ambition, Distraction,
Uglification and Derision. Never heard of Uglification? You know what to beautify is, I suppose?” “Yes,”
said Alice, “it means to make anything prettier.” Well, then, if you don’t know what to uglify is you must
be a simpleton.” “What else had you to learn?” asked Alice. “Well, there was Mystery, ancient and
modern, with Seaography, then Drawling: the Drawling Master was an old Conger Eel, that used to come
once a week; he taught us Drawling, Sketching and Fainting in Coils.” “Tell her about the games,” said
the Gryphon. The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and with difficulty repressed his sobs. “You may not have
lived much under the sea,” he went on, “and perhaps were never even introduced to a Lobster, so you
can have no idea what a delightful thing a Lobster Quadrille is.”
W. Butcher & Sons
Alice in Wonderland
Magic lantern slides issued in the Primus junior lecturers' series, number 778d
The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Gift of Arthur A. Houghton, Jr., 1987, PML 352354.1-7.
Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2015.