10/6 marks Mad Hatter Day. To celebrate, here are an undefined number of things you didn’t know about Lewis Carroll’s famous literary creation from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Mad Hatter Day falls on 10/6, which is exactly six months from April Fools’ Day. It also appears on the Mad Hatter’s top hat with a hatband reading “In this style 10/6”. The hatband is actually a price tag, and 10/6 refers to ten pounds and six pence.
1. Mad as a hatter
Because of the use of mercury in making hats during the 19th century, hatters were known to go mad during Lewis Carroll’s lifetime.
f. The origins of the tea party
Some of those real-life hatters who went mad from mercury poison were sent to lunatic asylums where they enjoyed, among things, tea parties.
102. “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”
Do you know the answer to the Mad Hatter’s riddle which appears in the chapter “A Mad Tea Party”? Probably not. That’s before Carroll himself wrote in the preface to the 1896 edition that there is none.
5. Theophilus Carter
The real Mad Hatter—maybe. Carter, an eccentric furniture dealer located in Oxford, was known to stand outside his shop wearing a top hat. Many writers claim he was the inspiration behind the first illustration of the Mad Hatter by Sir John Tenniel. According to H. W. Greene, Carter “was the doubtless unconscious model for the Mad Hatter in ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ [sic] as depicted by Tenniel, who was brought down to Oxford by the author, as I have heard, on purpose to see him. The likeness was unmistakable.” Do you see the resemblance?
?. Will the real Mad Hatter please stand up?
Proving his enduring popularity, the Mad Hatter has appeared countless times over the years in film, television, theater, ballet, and even music videos. Who portrays your favorite Mad Hatter?
!. Alice was right
All the best people are.