London: Dennis Dobson, 1967. Item #04477
"Good evening - here is the news.
It has just been officially announced that the world has gone mad!"
STEADMAN, Ralph, Illustrator. CARROLL, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland. Illustrated by Ralph Steadman. London: Dennis Dobson, 1967.
First Steadman edition, first impression. Inscribed on the half-title by the illustrator to journalist and broadcaster Reginald Bosanquet (1932 - 1984), "Good evening - here is the news. It has just been officially announced that the world has gone mad! Ralph Steadman for Reginald Bosanquet 21 May 71".
Folio (13 x 9 inches; 330 x 229 mm.). 108 pp. Profusely illustrated throughout including several full page and double-page drawings.
Publisher's white leatherette over boards, covers decorated in black, spine lettered in black, pale gray endpapers. Publisher's pictorial dust jacket minimal wear to edges, otherwise fine.
Ralph Steadman and Reginald Bosanquet had met each other in the sixties at many social gatherings at Turret Books in Kensington Church Walk, London. Bernard Stone (1925-2005), the owner of Turret Books published lavish limited editions of poetry, art and music. All were printed on hand-made paper and signed by the writers, etc. He also sold books, mainly second-hand and put on readings in the shop as well. "The shop ran like a club! You walk in (and this went for anyone!), and within 5 minutes you had a glass of wine (which became several within half an hour) and Bernard was enthusing madly about someone or something he wanted to put on the map. He was brilliant!! Regular liggers in the shop were Reginald Bosanquet ITN newscaster), Ralph Steadman (illustrator), Frank Dickens (1931-2016, cartoonist - Bristow, etc) and Adrian Henri (1932-2000) the British poet and painter best remembered as the founder of poetry-rock group The Liverpool Scene." (www.andyrobertsmusic.com). Ligger. An individual who attends parties, openings, social gatherings and events with the sole intention of obtaining free food and drink - an arch blagger. (Urban Dictionary).
The character of Alice was inspired by the four-year old Alice Liddell whom Lewis Carroll first met in 1856.
He imagined her as his 'Alice in Wonderland', the beloved tale that has inspired a wealth of stunning artwork, ranging from John Tenniel’s original line illustrations (1865) to Arthur Rackham's imaginative masterpiece (1907), Charles Robinson's bold color illustrations (1907), Marie Laurencin's delicate colored lithographs (1930), Leonard Weisgard’s vibrant and bold interpretation (1949), Salvador Dalí’s highly unusual and colorful (1969), to Robert Sabuda’s wonderful pop-up book (2003). But among the most singular and weirdly wonderful are the 1967 and 1972 gems Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass & What Alice Found There Illustrated by Ralph Steadman. Barely in his mid-thirties at the time, the beloved British cartoonist - best known today for his collaborations with Hunter S. Thompson and his unmistakable inkblot dog drawings - brings to Carroll’s classic the perfect kind of semi-sensical visual genius, blending the irreverent with the sublime.
We all know that Alice's dreamlike journey begins in earnest when she drinks from a bottle labeled "DRINK ME" and eats a cake labeled "EAT ME." See what metaphors you will, but to my mind, this alone makes the story obvious Steadman material: many of us discover his art through its appearance in Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a collaboration that qualifies Steadman as no stranger at all to visualizing unreal circumstances heightened, or induced, by one ingested substance or another.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas appeared in book form in 1972. Alice in Wonderland Illustrated by Ralph Steadman appeared the next year, and went on to win the Francis Williams Book Illustration Award.
His version, writes io9's Cyriaque Lamar, "has gone through various print runs throughout the decades, and he modeled several of the characters on decidedly modern personalities. For example, the Cheshire Cat is a television talking head, the Caterpillar is a grass-smoking pedant, the Mad Hatter is a barking quizmaster, and the King and Queen of Hearts are a melting mass of political authority."
Ralph Steadman (born 15 May 1936) is a Welsh illustrator best known for collaboration with the American writer Hunter S. Thompson, his close friend. Steadman attended East Ham Technical College and the London College of Printing during the 1960s, doing freelance work for Punch, Private Eye, the Daily Telegraph, The New York Times and Rolling Stone during this time. He is a patron of the Association of Illustrators. Steadman is renowned for his political and social caricatures, cartoons and picture books. Awards that he has won for his work include the Francis Williams Book Illustration Award for Alice in Wonderland, the American Society of Illustrators' Certificate of Merit, the W H Smith Illustration Award for I Leonardo, the Dutch Silver Paintbrush Award for Inspector Mouse, the Italian Critica in Erba Prize for That's My Dad, the BBC Design Award for postage stamps, the Black Humour Award in France, and several Designers and Art Directors Association Awards. He was voted Illustrator of the Year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1979. Steadman had a long partnership with the American journalist Hunter S. Thompson, drawing pictures for several of his articles and books. He accompanied Thompson to the Kentucky Derby for an article for the magazine Scanlan's, to the Honolulu Marathon for the magazine Running, and illustrated both Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. Steadman has expressed regret at selling the original illustrations for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas at the advice of his agent to Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner for the sum of $75, a fraction of their significant value. As a result of that transaction Steadman has largely refused to sell any of his original artwork and has been quoted as saying "If anyone owns a Steadman original, it's stolen." While there are original pieces held outside of his archive, they are exceedingly rare. The artist has kept possession of the vast bulk of his original artwork. As well as writing and illustrating his own books and Thompson's, Steadman has worked with writers including Ted Hughes, Adrian Mitchell and Brian Patten, and also illustrated editions of Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Animal Farm, the English translation of Flann O'Brien's Gaelic-language classic The Poor Mouth, and most recently, Fahrenheit 451.
Reginald Tindal Kennedy "Reggie" Bosanquet (9 August 1932 – 27 May 1984) was a British journalist and broadcaster who was an anchor of News at Ten for ITN from 1967 to 1979. Bosanquet, of Huguenot descent, was the only child of the England cricketer Bernard Bosanquet (credited with inventing the googly). His great-great-grandfather was Sir Nicolas Conyngham Tindal, Lord Chief Justice (1829–1843), through whom Bosanquet was senior lineal representative of the ancient Scales barony, although he never sought to establish his claim to the title and a seat in the House of Lords. Bosanquet was on the staff of ITN from its earliest days, initially as a sub-editor. He later reported from many parts of the world and was diplomatic correspondent for four years. He briefly became head anchor of ITN from 1974–1976, when Sir Alastair Burnet left to join the BBC's Panorama programme. His partnership with Anna Ford on News at Ten was popular with viewers in the late 1970s. As Ford has since revealed, this rapport could prove distressing: on one occasion Bosanquet, having somehow discovered the birth-date of Ford's mother, wished her a "happy birthday" at the end of the broadcast, unaware that she had died some time previously. Ford recalled in 2007: "Reggie was a dear. I mean, you wouldn't have chosen a man who had epilepsy, was an alcoholic, had had a stroke and wore a toupée to read the news, but the combination was absolute magic." Although held in considerable affection by the public (he was commonly addressed by family, friends and the media as "Reggie"), Bosanquet was not without his critics as a newsreader. At times he could appear puzzled by unfamiliar foreign names while his trademark slurred delivery fed contemporary suspicions that he was a heavy drinker. Such rumours became raw material for wags and comedy writers: Bosanquet acquired such nicknames as "Reginald Beaujolais", "Reginald Boozalot" and "Reginald Boozatten" while Sir Richard Stilgoe noted that an anagram of 'Reginald Bosanquet' was 'ITN Square Gone Bald'.