Friday 18 August 2017

Darcy in Wonderland by Alexa Adams - Blog Tour - Guest Post and Excerpt

Book cover: Darcy in Wonderland by Alexa Adams
Today I am hosting an author who I interact with often online but who I've never had to visit so I'm very pleased to be able to welcome her to the blog today. Let's all say a big hello to Alexa Adams, author of the highly regarded The Madness of Mr Darcy. Alexa has a new book out which sees the long-married Darcy meeting the world of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, which as you probably know was written later in the 1800s.

Alexa has a guest post and excerpt from Darcy in Wonderland for you to enjoy today. Read on for more!

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Great thanks to my hostess for having me here today!

Book cover: Little Golden Books Alice in Wonderland
When brainstorming ideas for this blogpost, Ceri suggested I speak about my relationship with Carroll’s stories, which is a deep and lifelong one. I honestly can’t recall a time when I wasn’t familiar with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I had a Little Golden Books edition of Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland as a very young child, but I suspect I knew the characters well before any written version of the tale.

1972 Adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
I had a VHS copied from TV of the 1972 version of film, staring Fiona Fullerton as Alice (Peter Sellers was the March Hare and Dudley Moore was the Dormouse – you can see it on YouTube), which I must have watched a thousand times.

1982 Adaptation of Alice's Adventures in WonderlandI also frequently rented the 1951 Disney animated classic and a 1982 film version of a theatrical production (also available on YouTube) from my local video store. It was a story that fascinated my young mind and of which I simply could not get enough.

1985 Adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Then I experienced the seminal television event of my childhood: the broadcast of a two-part, made for TV Alice in Wonderland in 1985 on CBS. I remember looking forward to it for weeks, and another girlfriend of mine and I both taped the entire thing so we could watch it over and over again (I recall being so proud that my version skipped the commercials, though it did make for some choppy transitions). The movie was jammed packed with famous faces: Sammy Davis Jr. as the Caterpillar, Carol Channing as the White Queen, Ringo Starr as the Mock Turtle, and the list just goes on and on. Truly an all-star cast. It is also a lot more child friendly than many versions of the story, being quite a bit less nightmarish, and it includes the entire Through the Looking Glass story line, with which I was previously unfamiliar. The film is available on DVD and well-worth adding to your collection. It provided me with the impetuous to go to the library and read the original books, turning my hitherto largely cinematic obsession into a literary one.

Book Cover: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, circa 1965, Airmont Publishing
A few years later I found a 1965, unabridged paperback of the book by Airmont Publishing, complete with the original illustrations by John Tenniel, at an antique store I was wandering with my mother. I paid 10¢ for it. It was my first used book in what has become a rather massive collection, and it was this copy that I kept by my side for reference when writing Darcy in Wonderland. I could easily have referenced the text online, or used a more recent publication (I have several in much better condition), but I wanted this old friend along for the journey.

Here is an excerpt from my story, complete with a reference to Austen’s juvenilia, which the well-read Janeite should immediately recognize. Enjoy.

Excerpt from Darcy in Wonderland:

Book cover: Darcy in Wonderland by Alexa Adams
It was an odd-looking assemblage that gathered on the bank — the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable. Squawks and complaints were in abundance. Darcy could not imagine even an overturned boat of society matrons creating a bigger cacophony.

The first question was how to get dry again. This seemed to be the common consensus and the sole concern of the creatures. No matter how he attempted it, Darcy could not get anyone to tell him where they were or if there were any human habitations nearby, nor prevail on one of them to act as carrier should he somehow manage to compose a letter. Indeed, a few of the birds seemed rather insulted by this last suggestion, and so Darcy gave up on finding any help amongst such fellows. He would have liked to search elsewhere for assistance, but Alice was in the thick of the debate on how to get dry, and he could not extricate her. 

She seemed to find it quite natural to speak to the varied animals, and she went about it as comfortably as if she had known them all her life. Her father’s manners were not as fluid. He thought it extremely disconcerting to socialize with beings he was accustomed to staring at either through his rifle sight or only in history books. Yet there was Alice, arguing with the Lory as if it were one of her sisters. Darcy had to look twice when the bird turned sulkily to Alice and said, “I’m older than you and must know better.” Alice, meanwhile, was demanding to know how old it was, which it positively refused to tell, until there was finally no more to be said.

At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of some authority amongst them, called out, “Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I’ll soon make you dry enough!” They all sat down at once but for Darcy, who was soon in the awkward position of finding himself the only one standing.

“Do sit down, Papa,” urged Alice. “I am sure I shall catch cold if I do not get dry very soon.” He almost commented that the air was warm and unlikely to cause her any harm, but instead gave into overwhelming mental exhaustion and meekly took a seat on the ground.

“Ahem!” said the Mouse with an important air. “Are you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please!” And he began: “‘Henry the 4th ascended the throne of England much to his own satisfaction in the year 1399, after having prevailed on his cousin and predecessor Richard the 2nd, to resign it to him, and to retire for the rest of his life to Pomfret Castle, where he happened to be murdered.’”

“Ugh!” said the Lory with a shiver.

“I beg your pardon!” said the Mouse, frowning but very politely. “Did you speak?”

“Not I!” said the Lory hastily.

“I thought you did,” said the Mouse. “I proceed. ‘It is to be supposed that Henry was married, since he had certainly four sons, but it is not in my power to inform the Reader who was his wife.’”

“Why not?” asked the Duck. “And what Reader?” 

“The Reader,” the Mouse replied rather crossly. “Of course, you know what ‘the’ means.”

“I know what ‘the’ means well enough,” said the Duck. “But you have no reader, only a great many listeners.  And why can you not identify his wife?”

The Mouse did not deign to notice the question and proceeded with his recitation: “‘Be this as it may, he did not live for ever, but falling ill, his son the Prince of Wales came and took away the crown; whereupon the King made a long speech, for which I must refer the Reader to Shakespeare's Plays, and the Prince made a still longer. Things being thus settled — ’ How are you getting on now, my dear?” it paused to ask, turning to Alice as it spoke.

“As wet as ever,” she replied in a melancholy tone. “It does not seem dry to me at all. On the contrary, I find it rather amusing.”

“In that case,” said the Dodo solemnly while rising, “I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies.”

“Here, here!” said Darcy, taking to his feet, which he found to be a far more tenable position than that of looking up at the creatures from the ground. “What do you suggest? Shall we build a fire?”

“I was going to suggest,” said the Dodo in an offended tone, “that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus Race.”

“What is a Caucus Race?” asked Alice.

“I do not think you would find it very interesting,” replied Darcy, “even if it were remotely relevant.”

“Why,” said the Dodo, paying Darcy no mind, “the best way to explain it is to do it.” It proceeded to mark out a race course in a sort of circle (“the exact shape doesn’t matter,” it said), and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no “One, two, three, and away!” but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked.

As Alice led the way, Darcy saw little recourse but to jog along beside her. “Did I not say we were better off not knowing?” 

“At least the movement might get us dry.”

“When did you develop this deep concern for a cold?” he asked.

“Two weeks ago — 0h! but does it not seem worlds away? — When Grandmother Bennet was visiting, she told me that Aunt Jane once nearly caught her death of cold after riding in the rain.”

“She did once become rather ill after a soaking, which her mother orchestrated, if I recall correctly, but she was hardly at death’s door.”

“Still, I should not like to be ill, especially so far from home.” She stopped abruptly, causing the Eaglet to trip and fall. It then lay on the ground for all the others to step over, tripping more than a few in the process. “Do you think Mama is worried?”

“I do not think she can yet know of our absence. It has only been a few hours, I think, since we fell down that cursed rabbit hole.”

“Maybe we can yet get home before she finds out. I hate to think of her concern.”

“As do I,” Darcy replied, yet for some inexplicable reason he would wonder at for years to come, they began to run again instead of withdrawing from the rather pointless competition and seeking a solution to their predicament.

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Thanks again to Ceri for participating in the blog tour. It’s been a pleasure.

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Thank you so much for dropping by, Alexa! This is such a fun idea for a mash up, because the Mr Darcy we know has a tendency to be on the serious side and Wonderland is not a serious place at all!

About the Author:

Author Alexa Adams
Alexa Adams has been a devoted reader of Jane Austen since her childhood. She is the author of Tales of Less Pride and Prejudice (First Impressions, Second Glances, and Holidays at Pemberley), The Madness of Mr. Darcy, Emma & Elton: Something Truly Horrid, Jane & Bingley: Something Slightly Unsettling, Becoming Mrs. Norris, and the short story collection And Who Can be in Doubt of What Followed?: The Novels of Jane Austen Continued.

Alexa is an American ex-pat residing in Switzerland with her husband and daughter. She is a founding member of the Jane Austen Society of Switzerland and looks forward to continuing her engagement with Austen and the remarkably familiar characters she has bequeathed to this world.

Keep in touch with Alexa:

Blog Tour Schedule

Visit the other stops on Alexa's blog tour schedule for Darcy in Wonderland to find out more about the book, including posts on the artwork, reviews and giveaway opportunities:

Book cover: Darcy in Wonderland by Alexa AdamsAugust 5th - Laughing with Lizzie
August 7th - Austenesque Reviews
                     VVB32 Reads
August 8th - Just Jane 1813
August 9th - From Pemberley to Milton (Guest Post & Giveaway)
August 10th - From Pemberley to Milton (Review)
August 11th - Austen Authors
August 12th - Sophia Rose's Blog (Goodreads)
August 13th - Musings from the Yellow Kitchen
August 14th - Diary of an Eccentric
August 15th - More Agreeably Engaged
August 16th - My Jane Austen Book Club
                       VVB32 Reads
August 17th - Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
August 18th - Babblings of a Bookworm
August 19th - Savvy Verse & Wit
                       For Love of Austen


  1. Oh dear, poor Darcy! He is so not in control! It must remind him of trying to get Elizabeth to marry him?��. I hope they do find a way home before Elizabeth is too worried. Love this excerpt, thank you so much.

    1. Hi Glynis, Darcy is the last person you'd expect to see in Wonderland, which is what makes it such fun, isn't it!

  2. I have read Caroll's books several times but I don't think I have seen any of the adaptations. The books sounds like fun.

    1. Hi Vesper, I am pretty sure I saw the Fiona Fullerton one, but I haven't seen any of the other adaptations, as far as I know. It's a fun idea for a book isn't it!

  3. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Ceri! I've long wanted to visit.

    1. It's lovely to be able to host you Alexa, thanks for visiting!

  4. Loved this excerpt! This book sounds so different from any I've read before.Can't wait to discover how Darcy and Alice return to the world and home they hold dear!
    Best of luck with your book,Alexa!

    1. Hi Mary, it's such an unusual idea for a mash up isn't it. I hope you enjoy it when you read it :)

  5. Hope you have enjoyed the blog tour as much as we have enjoyed following you. Blessings on the launch and success of this book. I know you are especially proud of it.

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Jeanne. I am sure Alexa will appreciate hearing that you've followed the tour :)

  6. Thanks Ceri for hosting Alexa. I have this book and loved it. I had such a good laugh at our serious Darcy being led through wonderland by his little Alice. Not to mention the illustrations by Alexa's sister. Say Alexa, I think I had that golden book took. Best wishes with your new release. Jen Red

    1. Thanks Jen. Isn't Alexa's sister's artwork amazing!

  7. Carole in Canada19 August 2017 at 22:57

    I shouldn't be surprised about all the adaptations made for 'Alice in Wonderland'! I just had no idea they were out there! Loved the excerpt and the concern Alice has for her mother. Looking forward to reading this delightful variation!

    1. Hi Carole, I didn't realise there were so many either! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  8. Poor Darcy, so bewildered! Can't help but feel sorry for the poor chap. But at the end if the excerpt, I get the feeling he's starting to learn to go with the flow.

    I'd no idea that there were so many adaptations of Carroll's works! I think I've only seen three: the Disney one (many, many years ago), the one with Fiona Fullerton (also rather a long time ago) and then the more recent one with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter.

    Thanks for sharing this excerpt with us, Alexa.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Anji! I haven't seen the recent one with Johnny Depp, but thinking about it, I probably have seen the animated one. My main memories of this work are in anthologies, quite often a part of it would be included such as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, or the Walrus and the Carpenter etc.

  9. This is one I definitely want to read as I have so enjoyed her other books.


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