In A Glass Darkly: Traces of the Past


As a child I was fascinated by Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through The Looking Glass.  I would stare into my full length bedroom mirror for ages and ages and wonder if it really might be possible – somehow – to access that other world behind the glass. Unlike Alice, I wouldn’t even have to climb on to the drawing room mantelpiece, which to my mind looked distinctly hazardous and was likely to attract unwelcome attention from mother.

John Tenniel’s illustrations were anyway profoundly disturbing, yet ever drew me to plumb their bottomless depths. All of which is the excuse of the very much older me to spend Monday morning playing with my camera in Bridgnorth Antiques Centre.

See! Just like Alice, I’ve finally arrived in Looking Glass Land. All it took was my magic little Lumix digital. But sorry, folks, I can’t hang around. Must catch up with the White Knight  or I might never make it out again.

Alice through the looking glass

Sir John Tenniel illustrator 1820-1914 ~ Alice Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll



In A Glass Darkly  is a collection of strange tales featuring demons, dopplegangers and even a lesbian vampire published by Irish writer, Sheridan Le Fanu in 1872. The vampire story apparently greatly influenced Bram Stoker in his writing of Dracula. I haven’t read these works, but I think they might be worth tracking down.


Please visit Paula at Lost in Translation for more Traces of the Past.

35 thoughts on “In A Glass Darkly: Traces of the Past

  1. At first, I wondered what it I was supposed to be looking at. Us being a bit slow ”down south”. Eventually I saw it. Very cleverly done!
    I also loved Alice as a kid. The Eat Me Drink Me scene in the house is my favorite. The imaginary world just beyond the tiny door.
    I once had a paperback edition as a kid. I now have a Gollanz hard-cover edition from 1984 with illustrations by Justin Todd. I bought it for the Ems, but it has remained on my bookshelf!

    1. I don’t know that edition. Must check out the illustrations. As to the photo – well now you mention it – it is a bit Cheshire Cat-tish (no pun intented) – doing its fading out or fading in act.

      1. It is a wonderful image. You seem the dab hand at mucking about with the digital.

        The illustrations in the 1984 Todd edition reflect Alice as she was intended, apparently, with short dark hair.
        Just Google the details and it should come up.

      2. I’ve just looked at the Todd images. They are still surreal but in a hugely less threatening way than Tenniel. And yes, Todd’s Alice looks very like the photos of the real Alice. Especially like the swimming in tears scene

  2. Your imagination has run wild Tish with this photo and taken me with you through that looking glass. And it brought back memories. As a child I used to play a game of getting round the house without touching the floor and teetering along the mantelpiece was part of the excitement. Of course I only did this when my Mother was out.

  3. Great stuff, Tish. The horse’s head reminded me of “The Goose Girl.” The protagonist’s enemies chop Falada’s (her horse) head off and pin it on the wall – but every time she passes it with her geese, it speaks to her. “Alas, Alas, if your mother knew, her loving heart would break in two.” Hmm, I wonder what your horse might be saying?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.