Fun Fact Friday – 11th September 2015

Fun Fact Friday – 11th September 2015

Who is ‘Alice’ in Wonderland?

Alice Liddell.

Back in 1865, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wrote "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" under his pen name Lewis Carroll.

The fictional book is all about a little girl named Alice, who falls down a rabbit hole into a strange world.

Although the book is fictional, it is often claimed that Alice’s character was named after the daughter of a family friend, Henry Liddell.

One sunny afternoon, Charles went on a rowing trip in Oxford, with his friend Reverend Robinson Duckworth, and three of the Liddell daughters Lorina, Alice and Edith.

Whilst rowing along the River Thames, Charles told the girls a story all about a bored little girl called Alice that went looking for an adventure.

The girls loved the story, particularly Alice, who asked Charles if he would write it down for her.

The original story was called "Alice’s Adventures Under Ground", and the manuscript was given as a gift to Alice Liddell in 1964, with Charles declaring – “A Christmas Gift to a Dear Child in Memory of a Summer’s Day”.

Charles then added more scenes to the book and "Alices Adventures in Wonderland" was born.

In a sad end to the story, Alice Hargreaves (her married name), had to sell the manuscript, after her husband’s death in 1926, as she could no longer afford to keep running her home.

The Manuscript was auctioned at Sotheby’s and fetched £15,400, four times its list price, by an American collector.

Whether Alice’s character is based on Alice Liddell is the subject of much controversy, with arguments both for and against the claim.

One such claim, that the Alice in the story is named after her, comes from an untitled poem in the sequel "Through the Looking-Glass" in which the first letter of each line read Alice Pleasance Liddell.

 

Alices advetures underground

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July–

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear–

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream–
Lingering in the golden gleam–
Life, what is it but a dream?

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