Course Hero. "Alice in Wonderland Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 1 June 2020. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Alice-in-Wonderland/>.
Course Hero. (2016, July 28). Alice in Wonderland Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 1, 2020, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Alice-in-Wonderland/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "Alice in Wonderland Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed June 1, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Alice-in-Wonderland/.
Course Hero, "Alice in Wonderland Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed June 1, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Alice-in-Wonderland/.
The original Alice was a real girl, Alice Liddell, whose large family lived near Charles Dodgson (the real name of author Lewis Carroll) in Oxford, England. On a July day in 1862, Dodgson took Alice Liddell and two of her sisters rowing along the Isis River. When the three girls asked for a story, he made one up on the spot, about a little girl who had amazing adventures when she jumped down a rabbit hole.
Alice Liddell asked Dodgson to write down the story, and in 1864 he presented her with a handwritten, hand-illustrated manuscript that he called Alice's Adventures Under Ground. In 1865 Macmillan published the story as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with illustrations by John Tenniel. Dodgson used the pen name Lewis Carroll, which he derived from the Latin for his first and middle names: Carolus (the Latin form of the name Charles) and Ludovicus (the Latin form of the name Lutwidge). Though it was not a critical favorite, the book was an immediate popular success, as was its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1871). These two books have been translated into 174 languages.
Dodgson was a complex man. A mathematics lecturer at Christ Church (one of the 38 colleges at the University of Oxford), he was also an Anglican clergyman, a skilled amateur photographer, an inventor, a games creator, and a talented writer who was especially fond of wordplay. He was also a prolific correspondent, writing and receiving almost 100,000 letters.
Until the mid-18th century, British books for children tended to be instructive. (One 18th-century picture book contains the edifying verse "The naughty Boy that steals the Pears / Is whipt as well as he that swears.") However, the second half of that century saw huge growth in books meant to entertain, and by the 19th century the children's publishing industry was flourishing.
Part of the entertainment in Alice in Wonderland is in Carroll's strong use of parody. Almost all the verses and songs that Alice recites or that other characters sing are based on actual verses and songs that all readers of the time would have known. But Carroll very deliberately subverts the original texts' meanings, turning the solemn morals into very funny nonsense.
Alice in Wonderland was innovative in many ways:
Some books reflect society; some influence it. Alice in Wonderland did both.