The Alice from Alice in Wonderland is actually based on a real girl, who lived in Oxford in the 19th century. Her name was Alice Liddell. Charles Dodgson (a.k.a Lewis Carroll) was friends with Alice and her family, and often visited the Liddell home to play games and take photographs. He also went on boat trips with the family, and it was during one of these that he first told the story of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.
Alice loved the story so much that she asked him to write it down for her, which became the book, Alice in Wonderland!
In the exhibition, we’ll show Dodgson’s original drawings of all the Alice in Wonderland characters, including the White Rabbit, the giant puppy and Alice herself.
- Drawing of rabbits, early 1860s
- Charles Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll)
- All images reproduced by kind permission of Christ Church Library and Archive, University of Oxford
We’ll also have the very manuscript that he handwrote, illustrated, and gave to Alice as a gift. Dodgson pictures are different to the most famous pictures of the characters – these were done by an artist named John Tenniel for the published book. You can see interesting differences and similarities between these, and in the pictures by all the other artists who have imagined new versions of the characters since.