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The History of Alice


bound handwrien manuscript in November 1864.


Dodgson decided to commercially publish the story a year later. Illustrated by the arst Sir John Tenniel, it proved so popular that it was followed up by Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, later to become simply, Alice Through the Looking Glass.


At the me that Lewis Carroll’s famous novel was born, there was a huge falling out between Dodgson and the Liddells, although the reasons remain unclear.


The Mad March Hare is a character from folklore immortalised by the author Lewis Carroll, in Alice in Wonderland. The story was wrien for Alice Liddell, but who was she?


Alice Pleasance Liddell was born on 4th May 1852 in Westminster, London. She was the fourth child of ten and close to her sisters Lorina (Ina) and Edith, who both feature in Carroll’s photographs and wring.


in 1856, Alice’s father, Henry Liddell, became Dean of Christ Church College and the family moved to Oxford ‐ and met Carroll, otherwise known as Reverend Charles Dodgson.


Dodgson took many photos of Alice during their acquaintance. They show a prey elfin girl with a dark bob and soulful eyes, pictured in various poses and costumes, nothing like the blonde Alice from the books.


The original Alice’s Adventures Underground was conceived on a boat trip that the ten‐year‐old Alice and her sisters made with Dodgson and his friend Canon Duckworth. Entertaining them with one of his imaginave stories, the author invented a fabulous tale about Alice falling down a rabbit hole and meeng all sorts of curious characters on the way. Aer being begged by Alice to write it down, he presented it to her as a


One of several theories is that Dodgson (31) wanted to marry Alice (11) but the family were against it. Although mes have changed and we would find this both shocking and unacceptable today, Victorian morality was very different and it wasn’t uncommon for an older man to choose a child bride.


Because the illustrated Alice bears no resemblance to Alice Liddell and the original story was markedly changed for publicaon, some crics believe the ficonal Alice isn’t based on the real Alice at all. However, it can’t be denied that Dodgson made strong references to her throughout the text.


Perhaps the strongest is an acrosc poem epilogue to Alice Through the Looking Glass. A poignant and nostalgic verse about that original boat trip, it spells out her name and begins: A boat beneath a sunny sky, Lingering onward dreamily, In an evening of July….


Aer Alice’s husband, the Hampshire cricketer Reginald Hargreaves, died, she sold her original manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Underground in 1928. It fetched the considerable sum of £15,400 at Sotheby’s and today is kept in the Brish Museum.


Alice died in 1934 and her ashes are interred at Lyndhurst..


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