Alice’s Adventures Under Ground is, from my understanding, the original manuscript that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) gifted to Alice Liddell (the real life inspiration of Alice the character). Dodgson drew some amateur illustrations to accompany his original story, but this edition has illustrations by Charles Santore that were inspired by Carroll’s original sketches. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was the title for the expanded version for publication.
Alice’s Adventures Under Ground is missing some of my favorite characters and scenes, like the Mad Hatter and March Hare, but most of the story is in tact. It is interesting to see the “early draft” of the Alice that I know and love, but there isn’t a lot of new content– besides the illustrations of course– to see in this book. This is mostly a collector’s piece, and it is beautiful. The edition is a small hardback with a cutout in the cover where the illustration of Alice is placed. Inside there is a short note from the publisher that explains the history of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, an introduction by Michael Patrick Hearn, the story itself, and lastly, a Q&A with the illustrator, Charles Santore.
If you still need a gift for an Alice fan, perhaps get them Alice’s Adventures Under Ground as it is a nice edition to round out their collection.