Discover Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland - The writer, the stories, the places #773922

di Angela Youngman


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Alice in Wonderland has become a byword for the unreal and highly imaginative. It has inspired children, artists, writers, film producers and musicians worldwide. This quintessentially English story has gained global eminence. It is a perennial favourite popular across all ages and cultures. The image of a little blonde haired girl, dressed in a blue dress and white pinafore and hair caught back by band is instantly recognisable as Alice. Other characters too have developed recognisable identities of their own such as the White Rabbit complete with his pocket watch, the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen and the Playing Card soldiers. It is an amazing achievement for a quiet Oxford don who created the stories just to amuse a group of children. Oxford will forever remain the key area associated with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. It was here that the story was created on that hot day long ago, when Carroll took the Liddell children for a boat ride along the river. Yet there are many other locations that have a claim to fame, and possess connections to the Alice story. Over the years, Carroll’s work has come under scrutiny. He has been variously described as a frustrated, unmarried clergyman, a talented photographer, a social historian offering insights into Victorian life, and a nonsense writer like Edward Lear, another Victorian writer. Port Meadow is the location of the White Rabbit’s rabbit hole, while nearby is the dark wood ‘where things have no name’ as well as Godstow Lock where Alice first encountered a white rabbit with pink eyes who ran close by, muttering he was late. The treacle well and the pool of tears can also be found near Oxford, the city in which both Alice and Lewis Carroll made their home. Yet there are many other locations that have a claim to fame, and possess connections to the Alice story. Lewis Carroll was born in Daresbury, Cheshire where the church has a beautiful stained glass window featuring the author and his characters. Down in Cornwall, Antony House was used as a setting for Tim Burton’s stunning film Alice in Wonderland, as did Charlestown harbour. While over in North Wales, the Liddell family had a holiday home in Llandudno and there are now special trails that can be followed. This is the story of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell – the girl who became better known as Alice in Wonderland. It shows how the story was taken up by theatres, musicians and film companies and looks at the many places, which will remain forever associated with Alice in Wonderland from Oxford to Llandudno, Daresbury to the Isle of Wight. Part biography, part travel guide this book will inform and entertain as well as providing lots of ideas as to where to go to see the places associated with Alice.
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Angela Youngman