Down the Rabbit Hole
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland began life casually, as a story improvised during a summertime boating excursion to amuse three young daughters of an Oxford dean. The storyteller, a mathematics lecturer and cleric named Charles Dodgson, placed the girl who had requested it, 10-year-old Alice Liddell, at the center of his helter-skelter tale, which blithely skewered authority in all its guises, from schoolmasters and kings to know-it-all moral-mongers.
Dodgson later presented his muse with a keepsake manuscript—"Alice's Adventures Under Ground"—illustrated with his own rough-hewn drawings and a photographic portrait of the real Alice, also by him.
As word of the irreverent fantasy spread, Dodgson succumbed to friends' urgings and published an expanded version under his pen name, Lewis Carroll, and with illustrations by England's preeminent satirical artist, John Tenniel. Alice Liddell grew up to lead a conventional Victorian married life, but her namesake gave literature a new kind of hero: the fearless young adventurer with curiosity to spare.
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Written by Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson]
Illustrated by John Tenniel
Portrait of Alice Liddell as "The Beggar Maid"
Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson]