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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass


by Lewis Carroll

Analysis: Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

In popular culture, it's often suggested that Lewis Carroll, like his character the Caterpillar, was "on drugs" and that the stories in the Alice books developed out of drug-induced hallucinations. However, there is no solid evidence that Carroll engaged in the recreational use of opium (the nineteenth-century drug of choice) or any other drug. (Source)

Lewis Carroll, whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was a math professor at Oxford. He was extremely shy and had a stammer, both of which made it difficult for him to make friends. He was most comfortable in the company of children, and he had many "child-friends," mostly little girls. Scholars debate just how creepy his interest in little girls was. Some accuse him of pedophilia, while others argue that the friendships were entirely platonic and normal for the time period. (Source)

The character of Alice was based on a real-life little girl, Alice Liddell, the youngest daughter of Carroll's friend Dean Henry Liddell. (Source)

Lewis Carroll first began making up the Alice stories on a boating trip in 1862, to amuse the daughters of his friend Dean Liddell. After telling the girls a variety of different stories, he wrote his tales down and called the manuscript Alice's Adventures Underground. Eventually he revised this into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and published it in 1865. (Source)

There's a famous myth that Queen Victoria loved Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and asked Lewis Carroll to send her a copy of his next book. Legend has it that he did – but it was a mathematical treatise called Symbolic Logic. Sadly, this story isn't true (Carroll himself said so publicly), but he did write Symbolic Logic, if you're interested in that sort of thing. (Source)

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