Skip to main content

The Real Alice in Wonderland and the Author

Alice In Wonderland 1856

Alice In Wonderland 1856

Alice In Wonderland

Alice In Wonderland

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was born in 1838 in the U.K., who would one day write fiction under the pen name Lewis Carroll. His father, Charles Dodgson, was dean of Christ Church. Carroll attended Oxford University and was considered a genius in mathematics. After graduation, he became a professor of mathematics.

Carroll was one of eleven children surrounded by his siblings, creating games and captivating them with imaginative stories. Charles was deaf in one ear and suffered a stammer that children overlooked. However, his stammer appeared to be a hurdle with adults.

Over time Carroll took up photography and became skillful and proficient in photographing children. During the Victorian era, parents began to seek him out as they wanted photographs of their children. Carroll was a complex man, somewhat shy but loved by children. He had taken some 3000 photographs during his life, of which only 1000 still exist, and of those, only one percent were of nude children. Again, this was the Victorian era, and nudity was not problematic.

Alice Liddell 1858

Alice Liddell 1858

The Real Alice In Wonderland

Alice was born Alice Pleasance Liddell on May 4, 1852, in London to Henry and Lorina Liddell. The family moved to Oxford in 1856 as Mr. Liddell was Dean of Christ Church. About this time, Lewis Carroll became very friendly with the family and often took Alice and her sisters on picnics. One day in 1862, on their picnic Carroll told the story of Alice, who fell down the rabbit hole. Alice begged Carroll to write the story down, and he did much later. He based his fictional Alice on Alice herself. Carroll was particularly close with Alice, the boisterous, imaginative of the sisters.

On November 26, 1864, Carroll presented Alice with an elaborate, hand-printed revision of Alice's Adventures Under Ground that included 37 of his illustrations as a Christmas present. Lewis shared his script with a friend, George Macdonald, and his children loved it so much he urged Carroll to publish it. Carroll did publish the book on 7/4/1865 using famed illustrator John Tenniel for the book.

In 1872 Alice met Prince Leopold, son of Queen Victoria, while he was a student at Christ Church. The two were rumored to be romantically involved until the Queen heard of it and quashed the romance. A royal cannot marry a commoner. In 1880 Alice married Reginald Hargreaves, and they had three sons, Caryl, Leopold, and Alan. Leopold and Alan were both killed in WW I, devastating Alice.

In 1984 Alice sold her original manuscript from Carroll to a private collector for a large sum of money. Today, that copy is displayed in the British Museum. Alice was growing weary of the fame of Alice In Wonderland.

After her husband died, Alice went to America in 1932 to accept an honorary degree from Columbia University to recognize Lewis Carroll's contributions to literature.

Alice died in 1934 and is buried at St. Michael And All Saints Cemetery, Lyndhurst, U.K.

Alice Liddell Hargreaves, age 80

Alice Liddell Hargreaves, age 80

Alice's Grave Marker

Alice's Grave Marker

Lewis Carroll Telling Stories

Lewis Carroll Telling Stories

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll

Scroll to Continue

Lewis Carroll, His Life

Lewis Carroll's writings included other facets of his life. He was also adept at inventing games similar to today's Scrabble Game and helped popularize the Ladder Game. As a noted mathematician, he also wrote eleven books on mathematics, twelve in literary fiction, and numerous poems. His stories were published in The Comic Times and The Train. He has a plaque in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey dedicated in1982. In St. Mary's Hospital, London called the Lewis Carroll Ward.

There has always been controversy surrounding Carroll and his fondness for young children. Others firmly believe Carroll's stories and photos are more sentimental than sexual. Nevertheless, he had the capability of creating a childhood world of whimsical stories that even adults could relate to and allow one to leave the real world for a magical one.

A non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of Lewis Carroll's life, work, and influence can be found at https://www.lewiscarroll.org.

Lewis died on 14th January 1898 and is buried in Guildford Cemetery, Guildford, Surrey, England.

His book Alice In Wonderland continues to be a classic icon in literature, published in over 150 languages. In addition, the Library of Congress has the original Lewis Carroll scrapbook containing 130 newspaper clippings, photos, and manuscript materials covering 1855-1872.

Lewis Carroll Grave Marker

Lewis Carroll Grave Marker

Poet's Corner Westminster Abbey

Poet's Corner Westminster Abbey

Awards To Lewis Carroll

Several awards have been bestowed on Lewis Carroll, among them are:

  • A plaque in Westminster's Poet's Corner
  • A bronze statue in Central Park
  • A ward named in his honor in St. Mary's Hospital, London
  • 1981, Awarded the Silver Pencil
  • 1978 Awarded the Newberry Medal
the-real-alice-in-wonderland-and-the-author
the-real-alice-in-wonderland-and-the-author
the-real-alice-in-wonderland-and-the-author

Sources Used

https://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/resources

https://www.lewiscarroll.org

https"//memory.loc.gov

https"//www.historydaily.com

Related Articles