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The Evolution of Alice in Wonderland: A Book Cover Odyssey

Ever since Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland debuted in 1865, with John Tenniel’s famous illustrations of its title character as a pinafore-wearing, Victorian tween, both the story and the images that accompanied it have become iconic. Although Alice is commonly considered children’s literature, it bears re-reading at any age.

So, to celebrate the 178th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s birth, we’re taking a look back at over 100 years of Alice in Wonderland covers. (And believe us, there were a lot to choose from.) Fall down the rabbit hole of history after the jump.

1898

The typography on this turn-of-the-century edition, which features one of John Tenniel’s original illustrations, is to die for. Someone, please make this a font.

1910

This apple-cheeked Alice, in her pretty, drop-waist skirt, is one of our favorites.

1916

This Alice almost looks she could be asleep and dreaming, in a nightgown.

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1930s

This Alice reminds us a bit of Nancy Drew. And another great typeface!

[Image via]

1951

Can’t you just see a ’50s schoolchild carrying this one?

1968

Ah, the ’60s. Yes, burnouts — this is Ralph Steadman, the guy who illustrated Hunter S. Thompson’s books.

1974

A surreal take on Alice, en français, by Nicole Claveloux.

1986

Considering it was the mid-’80s, it’s not particularly surprising to see this brightly colored, practically New Wave take on John Tenniel’s original illustrations.

2009

Even if there weren’t any text on the cover, it would be pretty clear that this was the Japanese version, right?

2010

Hugh D’Andrade’s pink, leather-bound Alice is a little bit Victoriana, a little bit rock ‘n roll.

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