David Delamare (1951-2016) was a British painter, writer and musician. He had an ongoing interest in film, Shakespeare, rock and roll and all things rabbit.?
This book has taken 8 years to produce. It was designed and published by David’s wife Wendy Ice. Wendy has coedited the text with Selwyn Goodacre, a widely accepted leading authority on Lewis Carroll texts. Selwyn collected more than 2,000 unique Alice editions (rejoice Alice-collecting brethren – we won’t run out of material to collect any time soon! 🙂
The illustration colours are subtle and subdued because Alice is underground, so David imagined the light would be subdued and the general spirit of Alice’s internal experience contemplative. The publishers pressured for a bright and happy Wonderland in vibrant vivid colours, however, David and Wendy did not succumb to those requests and as a result, have crowd-funded the project and produced a book that is every inch true to their vision and design aspirations. The book is exquisite on all accounts. Bound into cloth covers with a gold embossed title and thick matt paper, this is an exceptional design with particular attention given to the text.
In addition to all her accolades as a book designer and producer, Wendy Ice is a professional editor and an authority on Carroll’s texts. An interesting Q&A section on the www.delamare-alice.com website discusses the text’s peculiarities and slight changes that Wendy and Selwyn Goodacre thought of as appropriate for this edition. Carroll himself had tinkered with the text for many years with different versions which varied in punctuation and wording. This book is very close to the final Macmillan 1897 edition which is considered to be the last version of it which Carroll himself would have been content with.
The book ends with a beautifully illustrated “Credits and Acknowledgement” spread, where I was delighted to find the name of Cameron Moore, Alice character muse and model for this book. I admired David Delamare Alice’s demure glamour. Like in a perfectly manicured English garden, nothing seems accidental about every one of her movement, poses or gestures. Cameron-Alice is well aware that countless fine people will be staring at her for generations to come, so her nails and hair are beautifully groomed, impeccable even when wet, her toes are pointing even when running and even in the most contorted of positions (in the house that she’s outgrown in size) she still manages to remain all glam. Some of my friends who collect Alice books see Delamare’s Alice as quintessentially French and a true Gallic mademoiselle.
Delamare-alice.com website tells of Cameron, aged 19 when work on the “Alice” illustrations started, being bright, independent, literate, imaginative and in that way, she felt like Alice to Delamare couple more than any other model. She was a great sport too and for the “house” scene, she scrunched herself into a small cardboard box, whereas for the “pool of tears” she immersed herself, fully costumed, into Delamare’s clawfoot tub.
This edition comes with 2 gorgeous prints. Enjoy the Wonderland of David Delamare!
To browse other editions from my collection of illustrated “Alice in Wonderland” click here. To browse other editions of illustrated “Through the Looking-Glass” click here. What are you favourite versions of illustrated ‘Alice’?
Delamare’s art is impressive. There are so many details to it; one can see many daily objects there, it’s all very realistic. But then again, it’s Wonderland so it’s all fantastical. This is the good blend of fantasy with realistic qualities, I think it’s close to how Alice’s dream was – a product of imagination over things she recognized from her life, such as animals, food, various items etc.
Yes, Judith, I agree with your assessment of Delamare’s realism. It’s very polished and refined and at the same time full of weird Wonderland-y details and vibes. Quite possibly it’s close to how Alice would have dreamt it. Though my own dreams are rarely crisp and clear, rather messy with thngs and places morphing into something / somewhere else and I can rarely remember them the next morning. A bit sad… wish I could remember where my astral body has been each night. 🙂