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ยป Alice Liddell's Drawings and Watercolours

Alice Liddell's Drawings and Watercolours

Among the diaries is Alice Liddell’s travel diary to France and Italy, Feb.-May 1872. On 7th February 1872, Alice, Lorina and Edith set off on a Grand Tour of Europe.  Mrs Liddell gave them into the charge of Mr & Mrs Penn, with whom they travelled from London to Paris and thence through France into Italy.  The entry for Saturday March 9th mentions their arrival at Spezzia.  On Sunday 10th she records that she tried to sketch Spezzia but spoilt it with colour. The watercolour Alice talks about is on display. In her reply to her parents of 10th March, Alice mentions that: "Then we saw when we came in some of those boats with the sails going up to such a high point, & looking something like birds as they skim along".

The diary of a tour of Scotland, 1878,  with pen & ink sketches by Alice Liddell is, at least in part, in the hand of Henry Liddell, Alice’s father.  The entry for September 10th, mentions a comical incident, in which: "Mr Rory MacLeod was walking up the long Grishinish Hill & talking anecdotes to the ladies in the carriage when he suddenly found his box of fusees had ignited in his coat pocket, & became aware that his leg was getting unpleasantly warm, he tried to shake out the box, but one of the party calling out “Stamp on your coat” he tore off his outer garment, dashed it on the ground, and began dancing on it like a wild lunatic, with his white shirt sleeves fluffing out in the wind and his energy every moment becoming more intense; the entertainment became more & more amusing, till at last running up panting somewhat with his late exertions the coat was exhibited with a large hole burnt quite through the thick self coloured cloth …"

In Regi’s diary of his & Alice’s wedding tour to France & Spain, 1881, Alice’s pen & ink sketches add some amusing comments to Regi’s narrative.  He was clearly not impressed with the cathedral in Malaga: "Stalls very finely carved. Building hideous", and on the whole he appears to be a reluctant traveller.  The narrative ends: "Oh what bliss to sleep in a really comfortable bed again, happy in the certainty of getting fresh butter for breakfast.  England with all thy faults I love thee still!"

The exhibition curated by Janet McMullin and Cristina Neagu is open from 4 July to 30 September 2014. Visiting hours Monday - Friday: 9.30 am - 1.00 pm; 2.00 pm - 4.30 pm (provided there is a member of staff available in the Upper Library). 

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