Through a Looking Glass Darkly is a deeply layered hypnotic journey to the dark side of Lewis Carroll’s original text. If Through the Looking Glass is Carroll’s mirror image of Wonderland, then this is the mirror cracked. Here we encounter Alice not as a Victorian schoolgirl but a confident yet conflicted teenager immersed in a landscape of impending danger and bewildering beauty. This reimagining contains examples of real ritual magic and is complemented through the use of references to actual moments in history including the secret magical society The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the battle to save it from the malign influence of a young Aleister Crowley.
Jake Fior’s story of occulture in the late 19th century is part mysticism, part conspiracy and part artistic experimentation. Seamlessly blended into Carroll’s earlier work, the world he creates both preserves the essence of Carroll’s original novel while successfully conjuring the text hidden somewhere in its margins.
The book’s final chapter charts its extraordinary history; the very process of its creation seems to have invoked the discovery of major lost historical objects and a relationship between Carroll’s original text and the arcane teachings of Western Mysticism.
Some of these found objects will be on display for the first time ever at The V & A Museum’s landmark Alice exhibition Curiouser and Curiouser opening in March 2021. They include John Tenniel’s own sketchbook, the source for some of the illustrations in Through a Looking Glass Darkly which have never previously been exhibited or published. The illustrations to Through a Looking Glass Darkly are not merely reproductions of Tenniel’s work but a set of partially redrawn and fantastically coloured images that showcase the dynamism and modernity of Tenniel’s artistic vision.
About the Author: Jake is currently co-owner of the shop Alice Through the Looking Glass in Cecil Court, rated the “coolest shop in London” by Business Insider. Through a Looking Glass Darkly is his first work of fiction.
Through the Looking Glass Darkly by Jake Fior is out now from Alice Through the Looking Glass
(9781527256903, h/b, £19.95)
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