Ada Bowley – Nursery Alice


Ada Leonora Bowley (1867 – 1954), Alice in Wonderland, no date on book, presumed 1930’s. Ada Bowley, was known mostly for her work (postcards & book illustrations) for the Raphael Tuck publishing house. Ada and her sister Sophia May Bowley, studied art at the Blackheath School of Art, and they lived and worked together, throughout their lifetime.
Ada made the wonderful (uncredited) illustrations for the Alice in wonderland ‘Come to life’ Panorama, in the 1920’s published by Tuck, (YH – I might have that one, I’ll take a good look in my Alice in Wonderland book collection later, and see what Bowley-Tuck Alice’s I’m able to find).

Her Alice and her Wonderland universe, is very much a nursery stage one. Alice, and anyone around her, seem to be around the age of 5.
This edition has only 4 illustrations by Ada Bowley, all are colored, with John Tenniel’s black and white illustrations added to the mix.
This method, of placing a few new illustrations, along with Tenniel’s illustration is rather common. Naturally, I’ll present only Bowley’s illustrations in this post.

Let’s dive into the book – it’ll be a short ride.
Dust jacket with Alice chasing the White Rabbit. This same image appears 3 times. Here, on the cover and in the book.

Hard cover with Alice chasing the Rabbit

Alice with Flamingo, the Queen of Hearts, the Executioner, the King,
the Cheshire cat, and an hedgehog running away.
This illustration appears as a front piece, across the title page.
Bowley’s Wonderland looks like a sweet and safe one. The Queen doesn’t seem to be too insane, and the executioner here is a child.

Title page, published by David McKay company, Philadelphia.

Yes, this is the third time im placing this very same illustration. What can I do? it does appear 3 times! So, here it is again, Alice chasing the White Rabbit to Wonderland.

Alice approaching the Mad Tea Party. The Hatter is a lovable, innocent child, not your mentally deranged, seemingly alcoholic, Hatter, as depicted by other illustrators of Alice, for example, this Hatter by Harry Rountree.

Alice with the Gryphon and the weeping Mock Turtle.

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