‘Alice in Wonderland’ Turns 150: Enjoy the Classic, Plus Film and Digital Spinoffs for Free

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The former literature major in me was bummed to learn that an exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is on display halfway across the country from me in Austin, Texas.

Lewis Carroll’s classic first published in 1865 is among my favorite books.

Here’s Reuters‘ description of the University of Texas at Austin exhibit:

An exhibit in Texas traces its history to show how ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ adapted and transformed through now-familiar concepts of merchandising and multimedia. …

The exhibit, at the Harry Ransom Center, a global leader in its holdings of manuscripts and original source materials, contains more than 200 items, including rare publications, drawings and letters and photographs by Carroll, the pen name for Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

The exhibit shows how Dodgson, the University of Oxford mathematician who composed the story for the daughters of his Oxford dean, tried to balance his life in academics with his alter ego as the author of a widely popular book.

Unable to justify the cost of a plane ticket to Austin, I have nonetheless been celebrating the genius of the works by picking up a copy and rereading it.

Preferring physical books to e-books, I bought an old paperback for a few bucks at a used bookstore. But it’s easy to enjoy Wonderland without spending a dime. The book and its illustrations have been around long enough to become public domain, essentially meaning they’re no longer protected by copyrights. So enjoy.

How to Read Alice in Wonderland Free

Online: The Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg offer several free formats, such as PDF. They even offer the facsimile of Dodgson’s manuscript, which he illustrated himself. (The final, published version of the book was illustrated by Sir John Tenniel.)

E-readers: The Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg offer ePub and Kindle formats as well, and Amazon offers several free Kindle editions.

Search Amazon’s books section for the novel and then click on Kindle Edition and set the sort by option to price: low to high to quickly view all the freebies. The best-rated Kindle options include an HTML edition and an illustrated edition.

Not into classic literature? Twists on the original include Marie Hall’s romance novel “Her Mad Hatter,” and J.J. Maddox’s “Alice in Wonderland: The Vampire Slayer,” which are a free Kindle download or free with Kindle Unlimited, respectively.

Free downloads are also available for Nook. Search BarnesandNoble.com‘s books section for the novel and set the sort-by option to price – low to high. The highest-rated freebies include this two-in-one, which couples the 1865 book with its 1871 sequel, “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.”

No e-reader? Check out Reading Free E-books — Without Buying an E-reader.

Android devices: Publishers of freebies include gwofoundry (4.3 stars) and Virtual Entertainment (4.3 stars). Bilibook.com also published English/Spanish (4.8 stars) and English/German (4.4 stars) editions.

Apple devices: Bookbyte Digital (4 stars), Public Domain (4 stars)

Windows Phone: WP Books (few ratings)

Audiobooks: How to listen to Alice in Wonderland free

Android devices: Fineapps2013 (few ratings)

Audiobooks.com also offers many options for free with a 30-day trial of their Android app. Just search their site.

There are editions from big-name published such as HarperCollins, which includes the sequel, Simon & Schuster, which is narrated by Sally Field, and Random House.

If you’re in the mood for nonfiction, history or biography, there’s “The Alice Behind Wonderland.” For young-adult fiction, there’s the “Splintered” trilogy. And then there’s something for adults only, “Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland.”Apple devices: Storynory (4.5 stars), Lit2Go (4 stars). The Audiobooks.com app is available for Apple devices, too.

Windows Phone: Fantasy Audiobooks (unrated), Too 100 Audiobooks (few ratings)

How to see Alice in Wonderland illustrations free

I also consoled myself over the Texas exhibit’s distance by downloading new desktop wallpaper for my computer. It’s one of Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations of the Cheshire Cat character.

Tenniel created all 42 illustrations that appeared in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in 1865, and that continue to appear in many reprints, including my paperback. He drew dozens more for the sequel “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.”

Tenniel’s “Wonderland” illustrations can be downloaded from the Gutenberg Project, which has all 42, and from Lit2Go, which has fewer but higher-quality images.

Movies: How to watch Alice in Wonderland free

1903 release: This brief film is available on the British Film Institute National Archive’s YouTube channel. According to the BFI, it’s the first-ever film adaptation. The only remaining print is severely damaged, so fewer than 10 minutes of the original 12-minute film remain.

1915 release: This 51-minute silent film is available on Internet Archive and Wikipedia.

2006 release: This 97-minute movie is available through Amazon Prime Instant Video with a free 30-day trial. If you like the service, here’s How to Keep Amazon Prime for Cheap, Plus Other Options.

If you already subscribe to Amazon Prime, you might also have free access to other movie adaptations. There are a few dozen, according to Wikipedia.

Games: How to play Alice in Wonderland free

Online: Games based on the Disney version of the story, including “Adventures in Wonderland,” and “Hidden Secrets,” are available on Disney.co.uk.

Android devices: CookApp’s “Solitaire in Wonderland” (4.2 stars), Freedom Design’s “Alice in Weird Wonderland” (4.2 stars), Moon Active’s “Wonderball Heroes” (4.2 stars), Studio Drill’s “Bloody Alice Defense” (4.2 stars), Apps Symphony’s “Wonderland Slots Vegas Pokies” (4.1 stars), Home by Ateam’s “Alice’s Nighttime Tea” (4.1 stars) and “Land of Wonder” (4.1 stars), Hana Games’ “Alice in Wonderland Slots” (4 stars), Poppin Games Japan’s “New Alice’s Mad Tea Party” (4 stars), QvQ Studios’ “Alice Running in Wonderland” (3.9 stars)

Apple devices: Nox Mobile’s “Alice vs. Wonderland” (4.5 stars), Have Fun Studios’ “Slots in Wonderland” (4.5 stars), QvQ Studios’ “Alice Running in Wonderland” (4 stars)

Windows Phone: AE Mobile’s “Alice the Wonderland” (3.5 stars)

What about you? Any plans to commemorate Alice’s anniversary? Share your celebration ideas or your favorite part of the book with us in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Get more good ideas about saving money on entertainment by watching this video.

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