Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royalty in Wonderland

The English are often just a short step away from Lewis Carroll's topsy-turvy world of the Mad Hatter.

In case you didn't recognize the girl with an octopus on her head, it's Princess Beatrice. Judging from his leer, the gentleman in uniform is visibly charmed by the azure curves of Princess Eugenie. Then there was that crazy ecclesiastical fellow who turned cartwheels in the abbey.

This propensity for measured outlandishness is a dimension of the British character that I cherish, maybe because I've often felt a bit of it affecting my own brain. I've even borrowed the following lines for the opening page of my Antipodean autobiography:
"You are old, Father William," the young man said,

"And your hair has become very white;

And yet you incessantly stand on your head

Do you think, at your age, it is right?"
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
And here's a real-life image of Alice:

I cannot end this evocation of yesterday's visions of Wonderland without reiterating the entire kingdom's fascination for the fabulous Formula I chassis of Pippa Middleton, which merits inspection from every possible angle: a triumph of the very best in British engineering. Admirers might visit the Pippa Middleton Ass Appreciation Society [facebook].

If I'm not mistaken, Shakespeare evoked a British monarch who once cried out: "An arse! an arse! my kingdom for an arse!"

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