Alice I Have Been
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Alice I Have Been

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  8,084 ratings  ·  1,681 reviews
Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole–and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.


But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?

Alice L...more
Hardcover, 345 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Random House Publishing Group (first published December 9th 2009)
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The Holy Terror
I enjoyed this book but I wouldn't recommend it if you really really love the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Whether you decide to take the author's liberties with the story at face value or not this book will forever change the way you look at Alice's story. It's difficult after reading this book to not view Carroll's novel in a different light; I can't unknown what I know now and that makes me sad.

This novel tells the story of Alice Liddell Hargreaves, a real girl that inspired Lew...more
Elly Sands
After I finished reading this book I did some research on Alice Liddell and Lewis Carroll to separate fact from fiction. Before doing this I was going to give it 3 stars but changed my rating to 4 stars. I realized that the author did an amazing job in weaving a novel around the lives of these two people. The book is about the life of Alice and her family, friends, loves and especially her relationship with Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll).The connection between these two and the suggestion of in...more
Heather
This was a wonderful book. It was written from the viewpoint of Alice Pleasance Liddell Hargreaves, the girl who inspired the book, Alice's adventures in wonderland. We follow her through her life, making leaps from childhood, to young womanhood, to her later years as a wife and mother. There is a scandal that haunts her from the time of her childhood through the rest of her life. There is also her fairytale love story that will pull at the heartstrings. All in all a great read. I think it would...more
April
Sometimes I like to read books I know will depress me. It's a weird habit, but something which keeps me in touch with my empathetic side. I found Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin to be a heartbreaking novel. Alice I Have Been follows the life of Alice Liddell, the real life Alice In Wonderland.
Read the rest of my review here
Noce
Non ho 34 anni. Ne ho 3,4.

E con questo libro il verdetto è finalmente raggiunto: a me le favole piacciono.

Ieri sera, mentre il verduraio sotto casa mi faceva gli Auguri di Natale, e guardavo distrattamente la nebbiolina mentre parlava, (nebbiolina quando si parla = molto freddo), io non vedevo l’ora di tornare a casa, prepararmi il tè, e tornare a leggere la vita di Alice.

Mi si chiederà: è una biografia attendibile? La storia della Musa ispiratrice di Lewis Carrol, è ampiamente documentata? Ebbe...more
Jillian -always aspiring-
Alice I am, Alice I will be.

Alice I have been.


Call me rather foolishly unknowledgeable if you like, but I never even gave much of a thought to the man behind Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or the girl who inspired the story. I knew Charles Dodgson only as Lewis Carroll (though I knew it was a pen name). I didn't even know there was a girl named Alice Liddell, though I vaguely recall hearing that Carroll was asked to write the story of Alice down by someone. Alice I Have Been seeks to fill in t...more
Jenny
Having just finished Nabakov's Lolita I was looking for something to refresh my mind from the heavy, morally depressing, but brillantly written story about the mind of a depraved child-abuser.

I found I had picked up from the library, quite by chance a book entitled "Alice I Have Been". One of the things I love about books is that when I'm "in the zone" the right book seems to come to hand at the right time. And this indeed was the right time for me to read about Alice Liddell, the girl who inspi...more
Amy
I am one of those people that had no idea there was a REAL girl named Alice behind Alice in Wonderland…that is, until I read a gem of a novel written by a new voice on the scene, Melanie Benjamin. And I am so glad that her book Alice, I Have Been was my introduction to this very fascinating and endearing woman whose childhood will be forever connected with Wonderland.
Alice Liddell was the daughter of the Dean of the prestigious college, Christ Church at Oxford and was raised there along with her...more
Holly
I will admit, I didn't know what I was getting into with Alice I Have Been. I just saw it on the givaways page and entered. I didn't even realize it was based off the life of the real Alice Liddell until the wording tipped me off. Before I started reading, I did the barest of research on her, just enough to know her siblings, how she knew Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll), and how the story came about.

Melanie Benjamin does a good job staying with the facts. Everything I'd read matched up exact...more
Doreen
Man, I really want to give this five stars. It's a really good book, and the author does an amazing job evolving the first-person-narrative voice from precocious child to hopeful lover to crusty dowager. The pace is lively, and the characters and situations believable and involving. But... I think it's that the genre of historical fiction, unless very carefully written, tends to sound more like the author than the subject. In the hands of a blatant moralist like John Erskine, this works out fine...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
Cathy says:

We all know and love the classic tale, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I know that, time after time, I would lose myself in the story, fascinated and frightened by the strange and unpredictable characters Alice encountered, wishing that I could be Alice and experience Wonderland. I went so far as to make myself an outfit and wear it to school (in high school, no less) still yearning for an escape. My taste in books had perhaps matured but the surrealism of Alice's story remained sed...more
Lisa
Feb 05, 2010 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: book clubs - those who like historical novels
Recommended to Lisa by: Jackie Blem
This was a wonderful historical novel based on the life of Alice Liddell who inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland. Benjamin did an excellent job of telling a complex story of young Alice's relationship with Caroll aka Charles Dodgson - who was a young man at Oxford when they met. But is it more than that - it is about Alice's strength through a catastrophic time in her young life, followed by love and loss. It is about a girl becoming a woman - navigating Victorian England's stric...more
Mr. Pirkl
Dec 30, 2009 Mr. Pirkl rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mr. Pirkl by: This was a giveaway
Shelves: giveaways, 2009
Historically based on the relationship of Alice Liddell and Lewis Carroll, Alice I Have Been: A Novel
, chronicles the friendship, the emergence of the story of Wonderland, the falling out of the Carroll and the Liddell family, and Alice's path to adulthood, marriage, and old age. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. The relationships and characters were well developed. I especially liked reading about Dodgeson (his name before published as Carroll) as a photographer (something odd there) and...more
Kate
I must admit I didn't know anything about Alice Liddell Hargreaves and Charles Dodson (Lewis Carroll) other than she inspired him to write one of my favorite novels of all time Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

However, after reading Melanie Benjamin's historical-fiction novel Alice I Have Been I have learned so much about both characters and their relationship to each other. I really like Alice. She's a very strong woman who's not afraid to admit she's human. Charles Dodson, on the other hand, c...more
Farfished9
I am giving this book 2 stars--but not for the reasons I am reading other folks here talk about in their 2 star reviews...

I was gonna give this book a 3 til I read what the author had to say at the end...This ticked me off!! What a load of crap!

So first she says that she wants to be clear about not having an agenda in writing this--that her personal opinions on how all this stuff may or may not have gone down totally is not what her book is about...and then in the same breath, she says just the...more
Mary (BookHounds)
Melanie Benjamin weaves fact and fiction together to bring a cohesive story about Alice Liddell Hargreaves who inspired Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I think this book captures the mores of the Victorian era perfectly. This will be in my top ten for the year.



I really needed a book like this right now. I was going to try and wait until closer to the release date for my review of this book, but I want to tell everyone about this book, NOW. It combines the best of historical fic...more
Judy
Feb 21, 2013 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Judy by: Stephanie's review
The novelised story of Alice, the heroine of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. I'm going to have to read further about Carroll after reading this novel to find out how if he was a quasi-pedophile or not now! Anyhow, the book was excellent in that it made the reader think about how accurate childhood memories are, about valuing those around us daily for who they are and what love actually is. I really like Benjamin's choice of subject matter for her books...people we've all heard of, but total...more
Julie (julie37619)
This is the absolute best first reads book I've read so far. I couldn't put it down, and I can't stop thinking about it now that I've finished. I was a little worried when I got it because I'm not typically a fan of historical fiction, but this book was amazing. I loved the characters, even the more dispicable ones, and can't wait to go to the library and look up some more information on Lewis Carroll and Alice.
MaryannC.
I enjoyed this book very much, but, the relationship Lewis Carroll had with the real Alice sometimes creeped me out.
Monica

This book was a story about the little girl who inspired the work Alice in Wonderland. This book was a bit disturbing to me. The whole story, while with some historical facts and some fiction, basically had what, most likely was, an inappropriate relationship with the author of Alice in Wonderland. The writing was a bit babbly, I had to continue to re-read sections and sentences to get the gist of what was going on and had to actually stop to piece it together. The story didn't flow well in my o...more
Diana
This is the second Melanie Benjamin book I have read. This focuses on Alice Liddell who was the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland. It is meant to be in her voice as a woman in her eighties recollecting her past with Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll). Apparently when Alice was 12, her family cut off all interaction with Charles Dodgson because of something that happened between him and Alice. Charles Dodgson's meticulous diary entries from that time were cut out by his family. Nothing is really r...more
karen
Melanie Benjamin's fictional account of Alice Liddell's life, Alice I Have Been, is written in the form of an autobiography.

I was listening to the book via iTunes while I worked, and sometimes I would zone out a little (there are a few spots that are slow) but for the most part it kept me involved in the story. Benjamin's writing is lovely and she uses language well.

The story itself is told by an elderly Alice; it begins with Alice's childhood, and her relationship with family friend Charles Do...more
Boof
Have you ever wondered what happened to the little girl who inspired Alice in Wonderland? I must be honest - I'm not sure I even knew that the real Alice had existed until I read the blurb for this book. But, yes, real she was. The real Alice lived until the age of 81, had married and had three sons. But where did it all begin?

Alice I Have Been is fiction based on fact. The story is narrated by Alice herself and where no evidence remains, Melanie Benjamin takes artistic licence to fill in the ga...more
Sandi
I don't know if I would give this book 5 stars if I just read it. However, Samantha Eggar's narration of the audiobook is phenomenal. She really voiced Alice's emotions perfectly. There were a couple of times that I just ended up sobbing.

Now, I'm going to try to talk about content. Alice I Have Been takes the known facts of Alice Liddell's life and tries to explain the mystery of why Alice and her family had absolutely no contact with Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) starting around the time she...more
Jackie
Oct 29, 2009 Jackie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jackie by: Cathy Langer
I'm not a Victorian England kind of person, nor am I a great fan of Alice in Wonderland or Through The Looking Glass. Nevertheless, this book, a fictionalized account of the "real" Alice, Alice Liddell, caught and held my attention in a vice grip. Benjamin's research was exhaustive, so that Alice, her sisters and the clearly disturbed Charles
Dodgson (who took the pen name Lewis Carroll) become living and breathing people again. The actual photographs of Alice in the book are priceless and add a...more
Linda
On now legendary "golden afternoon" during the summer of 1862, Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson (pen name Lewis Carroll) escorted the ten year old Alice Liddell and two of her sisters a rowing excursion on the Isis. The tale he spun for the girls that day became the timeless classic "Alice in Wonderland." Dodgson and Alice shared a "particular" friendship, during which he freqently visited her family and made photographs of her in various exotic poses. Because she was the daughter of the Dea...more
Nancy
An eighty-year-old woman recounts her life in this fictionalized account of the real Alice in Wonderland, Alice Liddell. Alice was raised in Oxford, one of the daughters of the Dean of Christ Church. It was a world of privilege, though not a world that revolved around children. The Liddell family, but especially Ina, Alice, and Edith, the three oldest daughters, were befriended by a solitary and stuttering mathematics tutor named Charles Dodgson. Mr. Dodgson enjoyed photographing the children, t...more
Amanda
I loved this book. I won this as a pre-release from Goodreads, and I am thrilled it came to my doorstep. I started with a fascination with Alice in Wonderland and a slight knowledge that there was some mystery surrounding the relationship between Lewis Carrol and the real-life Alice. The book presents this mystery through the eyes of Alice in three different periods of her life. It is fictionalized, though I got the sense that Benjamin stayed true to the spirit of who Alice Liddell really was.

Th...more
Kristin
I laughed, I cried, I cried some more, I cried a LOT more. And for ten minutes after I closed the book.

It's haunting, and really drives home how quickly your life passes by. It's a fictional (because no one knows "exactly" what all happened) look into the life of the "real" Alice of Alice in Wonderland, her heartbreaking relationship with Lewis Carroll (Mr. Dodgson), how she expected her life to play out, and how it ended up playing out.

First of all, the writing is beautiful. Absolutely perfec...more
Marialyce
I really enjoyed this fictional account of Alice and her relationship with Lewis Carrol. It follows Alice through her growing up years into adulthood and the story of the effect of being Alice had on her. It was wonderfully written with just the right amount of the Victorian era's staidness and lack of outward feelings shown towards family, lovers, and friends.

The author used whenever possible actual events in Alice's life and spun a realistic tale of a life that seemed forever unhappy. She ulti...more
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Before I Finish Reading This Can You Tell Me... 14 139 Mar 18, 2014 09:13AM  
Read by Theme: Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin 1 26 Aug 01, 2012 09:23AM  
Lush Library: Alice I Have Been - SPOILER thread 11 17 Jun 16, 2012 03:50PM  
Lush Library: Alice I Have Been ~ Spoiler Free! 34 13 Jun 09, 2012 03:30PM  
  • The Other Alice: The Story of Alice Liddell and Alice in Wonderland
  • The Mystery of Lewis Carroll: Discovering the Whimsical, Thoughtful, and Sometimes Lonely Man Who Created Alice in Wonderland
  • Romancing Miss Brontë
  • We Hear the Dead
  • Becoming Jane Eyre
  • Lewis Carroll: A Biography
  • The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott
  • The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë
  • Jabberwocky
  • The Lady's Slipper
  • The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici
  • Sacred Hearts
  • The Day the Falls Stood Still
  • Exit the Actress
  • Daughters of the Witching Hill
  • The Taste of Sorrow
  • A Race to Splendor
  • Amaryllis in Blueberry
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Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, THE AVIATOR'S WIFE, as well as the national bestseller ALICE I HAVE BEEN, and THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two sons. She's currently at work on her next historical novel.
More about Melanie Benjamin...
The Aviator's Wife The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

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“I suppose at some point, we all have to decide which memories - real or otherwise - to hold on to, and which ones to let go.” 60 likes
“Why, then, did I always feel as if his happiness was my responsibility? It wasn't fair for him to burden me with that. It had never been fair.” 58 likes
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