That Lewis Carrol reference

Lewis Carroll famously included real Oxford people, events, and locations in his children’s books.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1872) are filled with such examples.

But because he never revealed the true inspirations for his imaginative fantasies there has been endless speculation ever since.

Alice herself was Alice Liddell (1852-1934), daughter of the Dean of Christ Church.

Carroll, whose real name was Charles Dodgson (1832-1898), was a mathematics don there.

The closest Carroll ever came to identifying the models for any of his other characters was after ‘Alice’ made its theatrical debut in 1886.

Then he referred to the Red Queen from Looking-Glass as ‘the concentrated essence of all governesses’, and there can be little doubt that it was Alice’s own governess he had largely in mind…….”

It is reported that she lived in Binsey! Alongside the water the girls were first told that verbal story, later written down at request of one of the sisters.

So much we will never know. That “I’m late, I’m late”. Was it a reference to Oxford v Railway time? How did one manage that!



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