alice in wonderland

AvatarThis is not about Alice in Wonderland.. It's all about how we live in her wonderland ! You can being Alice... Lets jump.. not falling !


About the Author:
Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, third of eleven children of an Anglican priest, was a mathematician and a logician who was a lecturer at Oxford for some 26 years. He was also an accomplished photographer, and a Church Deacon. Dodgson's pen name, (and the name by which you will undoubtedly know him best), was Lewis Carroll. He is best known for his whimsical tales, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

In Carroll's original (1862-1864) manuscript for the story, Alice's Adventures Underground, which he personally illustrated, Alice was not the little blonde girl in a pinafore we have come to know from subsequent illustrations.

Instead, she was originally a winsome, dark haired child, whose likeness had been patterned after ten year old Alice Liddell, the child of a church colleague, for whom the Alice stories had been originally created.

Dodgson wrote four versions of "Alice".

Dodgson first told the story during a pleasant summer outing with friends. Reverend Dodgson, along with a Christ Church colleague, Robinson Duckworth, and the three young daughters of the Dean of Christ Church at Oxford, (Alice, Lorina, and Edith Liddell), in a rowing boat hired from Salter's boatyard, near Folly Bridgehad all set out on a lazy, 2½ hour rowing trip down the river Isis to Godstow, that July 4th in 1862.

Dodgson entertained his fellow passengers with a story he created on the spur of the moment for 10 year old Alice. Alice and her sisters were enchanted with the tale, and Alice later pleaded with Carroll to commit the story to paper, which he did, but he did not complete it until until the following February.

In an article in the New York Times of April 4th 1928 Alice Liddell recalled that
"The beginning of Alice was told to me one summer afternoon when the sun was so hot we landed in the meadows down the river, deserting the boat to take refuge in the only bit of shade to be found, which was under a newly made hayrick. Here from all three of us, my sisters and myself, came the old petition, 'Tell us a story' and Mr. Dodgson began it.

Sometimes to tease us, Mr. Dodgson would stop and say suddenly, 'That's all till next time.' 'Oh,' we would cry, 'it's not bedtime already!' and he would go on. Another time the story would begin in the boat and Mr. Dodgson would pretend to fall asleep in the middle, to our great dismay."an

Robinson Duckworth also described this trip:
"I rowed stroke and he rowed bow (the three little girls sat in the stern) ... and the story was actually composed over my shoulder for the benefit of Alice Liddell, who was acting as 'cox' of our gig ... I remember turning round and saying, 'Dodgson, is this an extempore romance of yours?' And he replied, 'Yes, I'm inventing it as we go along.' "

Charles Dodgson himself also recalled that day and others that followed:

"Many a day we rowed together on that quiet stream - the three little maidens and I - and many a fairy tale had been extemporised for their benefit- .. -yet none of these tales got written down: they lived and died, like summer midges, each in its own golden afternoon until there came a day when, as it chanced, one of the listeners petitioned that the tale might be written down for her.">
Quotes Courtesy Christ Church.

This first manuscript, which was called Alice's Adventures under Ground is thought to have probably been destroyed in 1864 when, on November 26th 1864, Dodgson presented Alice Liddell with a more elaborate hand-printed second version (shown at right) which included 37 of his own illustrations as a Christmas present.

The manuscript, entitled "Alice's Adventures Underground" was presented to Alice Liddell, inscribed as "A Christmas Gift to a Dear Child, in Memory of a Summer Day".

Reverend Dodgson later showed the tale to his family and his friend George Macdonald, who urged him to publish it. He subsequently revised and expanded the tale to almost twice its length and this third version was published by Macmillan and Co. in London, on July 4th, 1865. Sir John Tenniel was the artist who agreed to illustrate the revised and expanded text which was now called Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

The edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland which was published in July was subsequently withdrawn. The illustrator was displeased at the poor quality of printing, which did not do justice to his illustrations. All but about 15 copies were successfully recalled and presumed destroyed. A new edition was published in November (but dated 1866).

Preferring anonymity for this whimsical work, since he had a professional reputation for producing more serious tomes, Dodgson chose to use the nom de plume or "pen name" of Lewis Carroll on his work.

Version four was a complete rewriting of the tale for very young children "from nought to five" which was brought out by Macmillan in 1889 with 20 of Tenniel's pictures enlarged and coloured.

In March 1885 Dodgson obtained the now married Alice Liddell Hargreaves' permission to allow Macmillan to publish a facsimile of the manuscript of Alice's Adventures under Ground; and this appeared on December 22nd 1886 in an edition of 5,000 copies.

The story originally created to amuse young Alice enjoyed wide-spread popularity, even sparking a stage production and related toys. Carroll wrote a total of ten books, some for children, others on math and logic. In 1871 Carroll published Alice's further adventures in "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There". The tales "Hunting the Snark" and "Sylvie and Bruno" were amongst his later works.

In addition to laudatory fame, Carroll and his work also drew the predictible cadre of jealous attackers. Detractors began searching for hidden meanings in his writings, (sparking debates that still rage today), to the point that Carroll sought to distance himself from the books.

In an 1876 letter to readers Carroll implored them to read "Wonderland" in the "spirit in which I have written it."
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