top, left to right]
Outstretched Claw, 2006, Wayne Thompson
2. A Wasp in a Wig, by Terry R.
of the Wig, 2006, Dennis Fonfara
4. Alice the Lost Chapter, 2006, Barry O'Riley
5. Alice Meets the Wasp, 2006, Jim Jereb
6. Alice and the Wasp, by Raymond L. Jordan $900
comments of Lenny de Rooy
his website: ‘Lenny’s Alice in Wonderland Site’ [http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/?alice4.html]....
"The episode suddenly came upon
the scene in the form of [some] galley proofs to be auctioned at a sale
of manuscripts on July 3, 1974, at Sotheby’s. The lot contained six
‘slips’, or galleys, with revisions in Dodson's own hand, and a
note, also in his hand, instructing the printer to strike the episode
from the book. Sotheby’s sold the lot as the ‘Property of a
Gentleman’, and it is not their policy to identify vendors who choose
to remain anonymous. The description of the episode in the Sotheby’s
catalogue tells us that ‘the proofs were bought at the sale of the
authors … personal effects … Oxford 1898’. It went to a New York
book dealer, John Fleming, for £1700. Once again the episode went
underground: Fleming thought it necessary to protect the identity of the
client for whom he had purchased the work.
Fortunately, however he agreed to
forward a letter to the purchaser, and when Martin Gardner wrote to the
anonymous owner, he received a reply from Norman Armour, Jr. of New York
. Armour gave Gardner a copy of the episode" (source: The lost
Chapter of Alice, NZ Listener 8-4-’78).
There are many different opinions
about the reason why Tenniel didn't accept this chapter. However,
on June 1, 1870 , Tenniel wrote to Carroll:
"My Dear Dodgson:
I think that when the jump occurs in the railway scene you might very
well make Alice
lay hold of the goat’s beard
as being the object nearest to her hand – instead of the old lady’s
hair. The jerk would actually throw them together. Don’t think me
brutal, but I am bound to say that the ‘wasp’ chapter does not
interest me in the least, and I can’t see my way to a picture. If you
want to shorten the book, I can’t help thinking – with all
submission – that this
is your opportunity. In an agony of haste,
(source: Gardner, M., The Annotated Alice, 1998, p.221)
Tenniel commented: "A wasp in a wig is altogether beyond the
appliances of art".
Martin Gardner suggested that it was
the Wasp's criticism of Alice's eyes that made the one-eyed Tenniel
decide not to cooperate. Therefore, the most prevailing view about
the omission of the chapter is that Tenniel didn't want to draw a
picture of a wasp in a wig as it was offensive. It could also be the
case that he just didn't have time to make another picture, because he
had a Punch deadline
A Wasp in a Wig
—the episode that follows was allegedly
omitted from chapter eight of Through the Looking Glass and What
Alice Found There; it should follow the story of the White Knight
just as he departs from Alice leaving her as she prepares to leap to the
eighth square and become Queen with a Golden Crown.
...and she was just going to spring over, when she heard a deep sigh,
which seemed to come from the wood behind her.
"There’s somebody very unhappy there," she thought, looking
anxiously back to see what was the matter. Something like a very old man
(only that his face was more like a wasp) was sitting on the ground,
leaning against a tree, all huddled up together, and shivering as if he
were very cold.
"I don’t think I can be of any use to him," was Alice’s
first thought, as she turned to spring over the brook: - "but I’ll
just ask him what’s the matter," she added, checking herself on
the very edge. "If I once jump over, everything will change, and
then I can’t help him."
So she went back to the Wasp - rather unwillingly, for she was very
anxious to be a queen.
"Oh, my old bones, my old bones!" he was grumbling as Alice
came up to him.
"It’s rheumatism, I should think," Alice said to herself,
and she stooped over him, and said very kindly, "I hope you’re
not in much pain?"
The Wasp only shook his shoulders, and turned his head away. "Ah
deary me!" he said to himself.
"Can I do anything for you?" Alice went on. "Aren’t you
rather cold here?"
"How you go on!" the Wasp said in a peevish tone.
"Worrity, Worrity! There never was such a child!"
Alice felt rather offended at this answer, and was very nearly walking
on and leaving him, but she thought to herself "Perhaps it’s only
pain that makes him so cross." So she tried once more.
"Won’t you let me help you round to the other side? You’ll be
out of the cold wind there."
The Wasp took her arm, and let her help him round the tree, but when he
got settled down again he only said, as before, "Worrity, worrity!
Can’t you leave a body alone?"
"Would you like me to read you a bit of this?" Alice went on,
as she picked up a newspaper which had been lying at his feet.
"You may read it if you’ve a mind to," the Wasp said, rather
sulkily. "Nobody’s hindering you, that I know of."
So Alice sat down by him, and spread out the paper on her knees, and
began. "Latest News. The Exploring Party have made another tour in
the Pantry, and have found five new lumps of white sugar, large and in
fine condition. In coming back - "
"Any brown sugar?" the Wasp interrupted.
Alice hastily ran her eyes down the paper and said "No. It says
nothing about brown."
"No brown sugar!" grumbled the Wasp. "A nice exploring
"In coming back," Alice went on reading, "they found a
lake of treacle. The banks of the lake were blue and white, and looked
like china. While tasting the treacle, they had a sad accident: two of
their party were engulped - "
"Where what?" the Wasp asked in a very cross voice.
"En-gulph-ed," Alice repeated, dividing the word in syllables.
"There’s no such word in the language!" said the Wasp.
"It’s in the newspaper, though," Alice said a little
"Let’s stop it here!" said the Wasp, fretfully turning away
Alice put down the newspaper. "I’m afraid you’re not
well," she said in a soothing tone. "Can’t I do anything for
"It’s all along of the wig," the Wasp said in a much gentler
"Along of the wig?" Alice repeated, quite pleased to find that
he was recovering his temper.
"You’d be cross too, if you’d a wig like mine," the Wasp
went on. "They jokes, at one. And they worrits one. And then I gets
cross. And I gets cold. And I gets under a tree. And I gets a yellow
handkerchief. And I ties up my face - as at the present."
Alice looked pityingly at him. "Tying up the face is very good for
the toothache," she said.
"And it’s very good for the conceit," added the Wasp.
Alice didn’t catch the word exactly. "Is that a kind of
toothache?" she asked.
The Wasp considered a little. "Well, no," he said: "it’s
when you hold up your head - so - without bending your neck."
"Oh, you mean stiff-neck," said Alice.
The Wasp said "That’s a new-fangled name. They called it conceit
in my time."
"Conceit isn’t a disease at all," Alice remarked.
"It is, though," said the Wasp: "wait till you have it,
and then you’ll know. And when you catches it, just try tying a yellow
handkerchief round your face. It’ll cure you in no time!"
He untied the handkerchief as he spoke, and Alice looked at his wig in
great surprise. It was bright yellow like the handkerchief, and all
tangled and tumbled about like a heap of sea-weed. "You could make
your wig much neater," she said, "if only you had a
"What, you’re a Bee, are you?" the Wasp said, looking at her
with more interest. "And you’ve got a comb. Much honey?"
"It isn’t that kind," Alice hastily explained. "It’s
to comb hair with - your wig’s so very rough, you know."
"I’ll tell you how I came to wear it," the Wasp said.
"When I was young, you know, my ringlets used to wave - "
A curious idea came into Alice’s head. Almost every one she had met
had repeated poetry to her, and she thought she would try if the Wasp
couldn’t do it too. "Would you mind saying it in rhyme?" she
asked very politely.
"It aint what I’m used to," said the Wasp: "however I’ll
try; wait a bit." He was silent for a few moments, and then began
"When I was young, my ringlets waved
And curled and crinkled on my head:
And then they said ‘You should be shaved,
And wear a yellow wig instead.’
But when I followed their advice,
And they had noticed the effect,
They said I did not look so nice
As they had ventured to expect.
They said it did not fit, and so
It made me look extremely plain:
But what was I to do, you know?
My ringlets would not grow again.
So now that I am old and grey,
And all my hair is nearly gone,
They take my wig from me and say
‘How can you put such rubbish on?’
And still, whenever I appear,
They hoot at me and call me ‘Pig!’
And that is why they do it, dear,
Because I wear a yellow wig."
"I’m very sorry for you," Alice said heartily: "and I
think if your wig fitted a little better, they wouldn’t tease you
quite so much."
"Your wig fits very well," the Wasp murmured, looking at her
with an expression of admiration: "it’s the shape of your head as
does it. Your jaws aint well shaped, though - I should think you couldn’t
Alice began with a little scream of laughing, which she turned into a
cough as well as she could. At last she managed to say gravely, "I
can bite anything I want,"
"Not with a mouth as small as that," the Wasp persisted.
"If you was a-fighting, now - could you get hold of the other one
by the back of the neck?"
"I’m afraid not," said Alice.
"Well, that’s because your jaws are too short," the Wasp
went on: "but the top of your head is nice and round." He took
off his own wig as he spoke, and stretched out one claw towards Alice,
as if he wished to do the same for her, but she kept out of reach, and
would not take the hint. So he went on with his criticisms.
"Then, your eyes - they’re too much in front, no doubt. One would
have done as well as two, if you must have them so close - "
Alice did not like having so many personal remarks made on her, and as
the Wasp had quite recovered his spirits, and was getting very
talkative, she thought she might safely leave him. "I think I must
be going on now," she said. "Good-bye."
"Good-bye, and thank-ye," said the Wasp, and Alice tripped
down the hill again, quite pleased that she had gone back and given a
few minutes to making the poor old creature comfortable.
Source: The Annotated Alice by Martin
Gardner, [Wings, 1998]. We feel the story is valuable, but
un-illustrated. It provides a level of symbolism that speaks to the
personalities of both the writer, Lewis Carroll, and the illustrator,
John Tenniel, who seemed to enjoy an unprecedented level of power over