SPIRITS
YORK | MAD ALICE

SPIRITS<br /> YORK | MAD ALICE

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Original Artwork : £290.00

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YORK | MAD ALICE
Graphite and collage on board
20” x 30”

Subject
Lund’s Court, Formely Mad Alice Lane

Main Portrait
Alice Smith

Materials
Graphite on 130g Snowdon white cartridge paper
Hand made paper

Book Extracts:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, ‘Pig and Pepper’.

Description

The spirit of Mad Alice has been kept alive by Alicia Stabler, who runs the Bloody Tour of York.
The Mad Alice that gave the snicket known as Lund’s Court its original name is something more of an enigma. The lane that connects Low Petergate with Swinegate was undoubtedly named Mad Alice and there must be a reason for that. Unfortunately nobody seems to no what the reason is, although according to popular folktale the woman was a resident of the lane (presumably another, preceding name was in existence at that point) named Alice Smith and that she was hanged in 1825 in the St Michael le Belfrey church (or it may have been York Castle) for no other crime than that of being insane. An alternative version of the story is that she had been abused by her husband to such an extent that she murdered him with poison, and that her subsequent hanging was the punishment for her crime.
The conundrum is that there is no record of an Alice Smith being hung in York, either in that year or any other year, which suggests (discounting theories of a cover up) that the story is complete fiction.
In which case the question is: who was Mad Alice and why did they name a street after her?

Given the element of fiction that is inherent within this tale it seemed entirely appropriate to use elements of the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland novel by Lewis Carroll, where the theme of madness runs throughout the book.

‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: ‘we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Original Artwork : £290.00

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