Alice in Wonderland - Literary Anniversary
26th November marks the 151st anniversary since the fantastic Alice in Wonderland written by the brilliant Lewis Carroll, was first published.
Carroll was born as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on 27th January 1832. He was the eldest son in a family of seven girls and four boys, whom he grew up alongside in Yorkshire - the heart of the english countryside . Despite having a stammer and suffering from ill health, Carroll excelled at school. In 1851, he moved to Oxford as an undergraduate where he studied mathematics. He graduated top of his class and went on to lecture in the subject.
Carroll continued his residence in Christ Church, Oxford and it is here that he met the inspiration for his universally famous novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Alice Liddell.
Alice was the daughter of Henry George Liddell, Dean of Christchurch. Along with her two sisters and under the watchful eye of their chaperone, Miss Prickett (thought to be the inspiration behind the red queen), she would often go to visit Carroll in his college rooms. Here, he would tell the girls numerous stories that he had thought up.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was born following a picnic trip with the girls. Here, Carroll had shared a story with Alice as the protagonist. Alice loved the story so much that she asked Carroll to write it down and continue the story, to add more adventures for her. Upon completion, he gifted the book to Alice and thought no more of it. It wasn’t until a visiting friend of the Liddells’ (an author himself), found the book by chance in their home and urged for the family to persuade Carroll to have it published.
Publication saw the book have a slow but increasing success. After a year, Carroll began its sequel Through The Looking Glass and by the time of his death in 1898, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was the most popular children’s book in England.