anyone knows well about "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"?

Reply Sat 21 May, 2011 09:44 am
Does anyone remember that in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, there is a sentence saying “cards,spades, and a beating”. what's the meaning of it? the sentence was said under what circumstances ?
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View best answer, chosen by jeremykong
Reply Sat 21 May, 2011 10:16 am
I don't remember that line, but a lot of the book is obscure and 'out there'. I heard he was stoned and hallucenating when he wrote it, but who knows?
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High Seas
Reply Sat 21 May, 2011 11:01 am
There is no such sentence in any of the books written by Lewis Carroll. Check your source carefully - your quote came from a "new" Sherlock Holmes story.
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Reply Sat 21 May, 2011 11:11 am
To give someone "cards, spades and a beating" seems to have meant, around the end of the 19th century, to decisively beat or surpass them. You read this in one of those Sherlock Holmes fanfiction stories you keep quoting from without attributing. The phrase also appeared in The Minneapolis Journal for August 12, 1901, in a humorous dialect story about a dispute between a cat and a manhole cover: "a cat infuriated
can give the manhole-cover cards, spades and a beating and never half try at that."
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Reply Sat 21 May, 2011 12:44 pm
In fact, in the Sherlock Holmes fan story it is perfectly clear that it is Holmes himself who employs the phrase, inplying that Carroll/Dodgson's abilities would have helped [the British] Admiralty Intelligence decisively beat their German counterparts during the First World War.

Sherlock Holmes was one of the few men on earth who could break the secret of such a transmission within a few hours. His colleagues in Admiralty Intelligence were an unpredictable company of naval officers, classical scholars from the best universities, puzzle-book addicts, eccentrics of many kinds. There were mathematicians, and pioneers of symbolic logic, among them pupils of the late Rev C. L. Dodgson, better known to fame as “Lewis Carroll.” Holmes several times remarked that had we been able to enlist the creator of Alice, we should have given German intelligence “cards, spades and a beating,” from the first day of the war to the last.

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