About Wonderland

Geography

A State of Mind reached only by the young in heart.


Area

54 square miles (52 cards + 2 jokers).


Population

Hurriedly taken census of 1864 showed 364 (spots on cards) plus various immigrant personages in the shape of sundry Hatters, Hares, Dodos, Rabbits, Lizards, Turtles, Gryphons, Cooks, Footmen etc., etc., etc. …


Currency

System of Bidding or Barter until 1832 (Lewis Carroll´s birth). Sterling introduced same year. Decimal currency prepared in 1861, but scrapped in favour of ´Dream´ currency (40 Winks to 1 Golden Slumber).


History

Wonderland, previously known as CARDIA, was for centuries a feudal territory ruled at various periods by one of 4 Royal Houses (Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades). Late in the 18th century the Heart dynasty became undisputed rulers by means of a Grand Slam, relegating the other three houses to subservient roles within the Kingdom. This state of affairs continued with little change apart from minor Knavish skirmishes until 27th January 1832 (Lewis Carroll´s birth) when the country was declared a Protectorate under the British Crown and re-named Wonderland.

The Monarchy (House of Cards) finally collapsed in 1865 following a revolution instigated by the notorious agitator Alice Liddell. This event led to great confusion; the realm was laid waste by marauding Jabberwocks, Jub-jub Birds, Bandersnatches and similar nasties, until December, 1871, when the terrain was divided into 64 shires (64 squares to a chess-board) by two rival Royal families, Red and White, between whom existed a perpetual state of Civil War.


Postal History

For practical purposes, very little is known of the early period of Cardia’s postal service; communication outside the territory being virtually non-existent. Internal mails were generally carried by a private messenger, or merely left lying about waiting for the recipient to come upon them by sheer chance. The very few covers still in existence bear a Crown or Heart motif, ´CARDIA´in a curved semi-circle, in red or black. Earlier items may bear another card motif. The first adhesive stamps appeared on 5th May, 1840 and proved so successful that the following day Great Britain followed suit, as later did the outposts of the British Empire, going so far as to blatantly ‘crib’ from the Wonderland designs.


Postal Rates

1840 = 1 d per ounce or up to one mile, whichever was the heavier or further.

1843 = Rates reduced to 1/4 d per quarter mile or quarter ounce same proviso.

1865 = 1/4 Wink to 5 Golden Slumbers; depending on the prevailing wind, time of day, number of executions ordered by the Queen of Hearts, but mainly depending on the disposition of the Postman / Carrier / Messenger concerned.


The real “Alice in Wonderland” (Alice Liddell)

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) Alice Liddell Dressed in Her Best Outfit Christ Church Studio, Oxford, Summer 1858 From Lewis Carroll, Photographer

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). Alice Liddell Dressed in Her Best Outfit, Christ Church Studio, Oxford, Summer 1858 From Lewis Carroll, Photographer

 

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