by Lewis Carroll, Martin Gardner
The Annotated Alice includes both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and what Alice found there. Everybody should read these -- they're some of the best nonsense ever written, and they make more sense than many works that weren't intended to be nonsense. However, I have a minor gripe with this particular edition. If we take the point of view that the ideal footnote illuminates the text without unnecessarily distracting the reader, then with this book Gardner surely went overboard. Some of the footnotes do explain the text (which often relies on a knowledge of Victorian literature and idioms) but many of them are simply digressions where something in the text gave Gardner an excuse to talk about something that he was interested in. The digressions are interesting and of course they can be skipped over easily enough, so no harm is done.
copyright © 2000 John Regehr