In honor of the 150th anniversary of the classic fantasy novel Alice in Wonderland, the Royal Mint is issuing a £5 collectible Alice coin. The commerative coin depicts Alice and the Cheshire Cat, based on Sir JohnTenniel’s classic illustrations. The Royal Mint is offering these coins in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V & A).

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The Victoria and Albert Museum is the largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts, and design in the world, Its permanent collection has over twp million objects. The V& A currently has a special exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” will be open until Friday, December 31, 2021, New Year’s Eve. Although admission to the V&A is usually free, the special Alice exhibit is £20 (free for museum members and children under 12). Visitors are advised to get tickets in advance.

In addition to being a supporting character in Robert A. Heinlein’s The Number of the Beast, Lewis Carroll was an English mathematician, author, photographer, and poet. Lewis Carroll, was, of course, the pen name of STEM hero Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 – 1898).

Since its original publication in 1865, Alice in Wonderland has never gone out of print. It has been translated into 97 languages. With all the puns and wordplay, it must be a difficult book for translators.

The Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland commemorative coin is the first half of a two-coin set. Later this year, a Through the Looking Glass coin will be issued. It will show Alice with Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Like the silver dollar the U. S. Mint will be issuing to honor Christa McAuliffe, these five pound coins should not be taken to the pub to buy a pint. The Alice coins are collectibles, meant to be locked away in safe-deposit boxes. Depending on whether you want the half-ounce silver coin, the one ounce silver colored coin, or the quarter ounce gold coin, the price ranges from £13 to £100 to £650.

If you’re taking your children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren to the library this summer, encourage them to check out Alice in Wonderland and/or Through the Looking Glass. Or check them put to reread yourself. The Alice books should be a part of every English-speaker’s cultural heritage.

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Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.