Donald's Reviews > Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
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's review
Oct 12, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Recommended for: Everyone
Read in January, 1978

I never read "Alice In Wonderland" as a child. However, that doesn't really matter, because this timeless classic is age- neutral; adults can enjoy it on another level entirely. The book itself is a wild and crazy romp through a fractured world, seen through the prism of Carroll's trademark "nonsense," which makes the whole thing more than just a fascinating tale from childhood. The author himself was a study in contrasts; reverend C.L. Dodgson was a staid and proper church official who also was fond of playing complex mathematical games. Lewis Carroll, however, was enamored with "nonsense" and his work is filled with symbolism that is still being debated and theorized about. The Rev. Dodgson preferred the company of very young girls, one of whom was named Alice Liddell, whom he first told the "Wonderland" story to, and he based the title character on her. Whatever his relationship with little girls meant, there is little doubt that Alice Liddell was the love of his life and he was crushed when she turned his back on him as she grew up. "Alice In Wonderland" and "Through The Looking Glass" are staples of modern literature, and no one can be completely well-read without reading them.

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Quotes Donald Liked

Lewis Carroll
“She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it).”
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Hello! I've just been rereading Alice thanks to a book about Alice that I've been reading, Alice in Sunderland by Bryan Talbot. As someone else who loves Alice, I thought I'd share something I learned from Talbot: As an Oxford don Dodgson had to take a vow of celibacy, and the family had already been a bit scandalized that Dodgson's father had had to leave Oxford in order to marry Dodgson's mother. After Dodgson's own death, his family destroyed or hid anything that might indicate he had ever had a relationship with a woman (and new evidence suggests he did). But since Victorians saw children as pure and asexual, they didn't censor anything surrounding his affection for children, and it was only years later, after Freud and co., that people began to question why Lewis Carroll loved little girls so much.

I hope I don't sound preachy or anything. I was just delighted to learn this about Lewis Carroll, and I've been telling lots of people; you're the first stranger on the internet that I have, in a sense, bumped into, and had the opportunity to share with.

Donald Hi Meghan,

That's very interesting- thanks for the info.

Regardless of what his motives were, Carroll's interest in little girls certainly provides a lot of fodder for speculation. His own eccentric character, imho, also adds to the allure of his wonderful "Alice" books.

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