An eerie image of the queen from Alice in Wonderland with the Cheshire Cat draped around her neck.

Victorian Book Illustrations in the North of France

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 28 July 2023 > Shine Bright Collège Shine Bright Lycée What's On

As befits a castle bought by English gentry in 1848, until November, the Château d'Hardelot, Condette (62), is hosting an exhibition of illustrations inspired by Victorian literature from Alice in Wonderland to The Picture of Dorian Gray. And its summer season includes films and workshops on the theme of Lewis Carroll's heroine.

French book illustrator Benjamin Lacombe is presenting illustrations for Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, The Little Mermaid, Poe's Tales of the Macabre and Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Benjamin Lacombe with a model of Alice from Lewis Carroll's novels.

His work - drawings, paintings and 3-D models - can be found all over the castle, in its gardens and the tea room, which has transformed into a Mad Hatter's tea party. Lacombe plunges visitors into an immersive space where even the wallpaper is part of the theme.

He is fascinated by the Victorian era and literature which both displays and breaks social and moral taboos.

An image for "The Picture of Dorian Gray" showing the Victorians' morbid obsession with death (and a wink to Shakespeare.)

The exhibition is open until 5 November, so it would make a great class visit with a literature theme for the Rentrée.


Check out the castle's website for Alice in Wonderland film showings and a special Irish Day on 15 August.

1 April-5 November 2023
Benjamin Lacombe et le victorien
Château d'Hardelot
Centre culturel de l'Entente cordiale

The playing card soldiers and the White Rabbit in the Mad Hatter's tearoom.

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