Friday, April 11, 2014

The Queen of Hearts: A guest post by Colleen Oakes

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

  • Lewis Carroll himself described the Queen as “An embodiment of blind and aimless fury.” 
  • The face of the Queen of Hearts in the original novel was based on a stainglass window portraying the Duchess of Norfolk at Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Suffolk. 
  • The Queen of Hearts is constantly mistaken for the Red Queen, when in fact the Red Queen only appears in Into the Looking Glass. Disney's Queen of Hearts seems to be a combination of the Queen from the book, the Duchess, and the Red Queen of Through The Looking-Glass.  
  • The gardeners painting the roses red is commonly believed to refer to the “War of the Roses”. The red rose was the symbol for House Lancaster, and the House of York was symbolized by a white rose.  
  • In Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat mentions that the Queen of Hearts has never really beheaded anyone: she's just being facetious. The Gryphon later informs Alice that the Queen never actually executes anyone she sentences to death, which reinforces the fact that the Queen of Hearts’ power lies in her rhetoric. 
  • Queen cards were introduced by the French in the 17th century. To this day, traditional Italian decks do not include a Queen of Hearts  
  • The Queen has a warped idea of justice: in the final chapters and the trial of the Knave of Hearts, we see her issue sentence before verdict.  
  • The Queen is sometimes believed to be a caricature of Queen Victoria. Carroll wrote in such a way to make her at once instantly recognizable to parents reading the story to children, and also fantastical enough to make her unrecognizable to children.  
  • In the video game American McGee's Alice, the Queen of Hearts is the final boss and the reason for Wonderland's decay. When Alice fights her, she discovers that the Queen is her dark side – an embodiment of her insanity; the Queen must be destroyed for Alice to become sane once more. 
  • In the Queen’s presence, Alice finally gets a taste of true fear, even though she understands that the Queen of Hearts is merely a playing card. A greater analysis of The Queen of Hearts indicates that she represents the idea that Wonderland is devoid of substance, which is actually the idea that Alice fears.


Title: The Queen of Hearts
Author: Colleen Oakes
Published on: February 14th, 2012
Publisher: SparkPress
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy

Blossoming Love. A Father's Betrayal. A Kingdom with a Black Secret.

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah's days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts - and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she's ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It's up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinah's furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath. Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with
this new, dark take on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

But be warned. Not every fairytale has a happy ending.

This is the story of a princess who became a villain.

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Colleen Oakes is the author of the Elly in Bloom series and the upcoming YA fantasy Queen of Hearts Saga, both published via SparkPress, a BookSparks imprint. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son. When not writing, Colleen enjoys swimming, traveling, and immersing herself in nerdy pop culture. She is currently at work on the last Elly novel and her second YA fantasy series, Wendy Darling.

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