Diana's Reviews > Alice I Have Been

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
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's review
Dec 16, 2011

it was ok

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 revealed in this book, or rather no more than what the public already knows. Charles Dodgson took somewhat indecent pics of young girls, and most likely had a thing for Alice, who was 20 years younger than him. The Alice in this book is a crabby old lady who is so cold and awful, I could not connect with her. Melanie Benjamin had a pretty blank canvas to fill in with ideas on the nature of the relationship of Alice and Charles Dodgson, and instead it was filled with Alice and her love/hate of the man who made her famous. Alice repeats memories and phrases they said to each other, gets nostalgic, then rails against Dodgson throughout the book.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Alissa (new)

Alissa I was on the edge about this book, so thanks for the review. Have you ever seen the photos he took? They are...suspicious.

Diana I think so too. Even for indulgent Victorian photographs, they were a little beyond was is comfortable. I may be looking at it through modern eyes, but the Alice pics are not even as bad as some of the half-nude ones of pre-teens laying on couches. Hardcore Lewis Carroll fans refuse to believe it, but seems all signs point to him having an odd obsession with girl children.

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