27 October 2012

Haunted Week - Back From The Grave

{This Girl Reads}

Cheyenne's challenge for today is to dig up your past and bring some of your old friends back to life. I've decided to go back to my earliest memories:

I wonder if so much exposure to the many film and TV versions of the Alice story  (see this list of sixteen Alice in Wonderland films on IMDb) allow new readers to approach this book as I did as a child?  I haven't read it for years, but somewhere I have a copy with the original Victorian illustrations by John Tenniel, which left a lasting memory. Tenniel's black and white line drawings were painstakingly engraved on blocks of wood  and can be seen here

Peter Pan has also been 'interpreted' so many times - it must be hard for children not to envisage the Disney characters. My copy was a present for my fifth birthday (there is an inscription inside the cover from my parents) and is the version with the colour plate illustrations by Mabel Lucie Attwell (who also illustrated a version of Alice in Wonderland).  It is the book I have owned for the longest time and still sits on my bookshelf. Interestingly, J.M. Barrie didn't say very much about Peter Pan's appearance, leaving it to the reader's imagination.

A theme is emerging here - when I think of Treasure Island I picture the excellent recent UK adaptation starring Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver. There is a great list of the many film versions here. Writers may be interested to note that Jim Hawkins narrates all but three chapters from first and third-person perspectives. Dr. Livesey narrates the rest and while Jim describes his feelings as the story unfolds, Dr. Livesey is more objective and really quite factual. My cherished copy of treasure Island was handed down to my brother and sisters, so has long since gone - but the memory of the first time I read it lives on.

What old friends would you like brought back to life?

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