Why this site?
Alice in Wonderland is a great nonsense story, but as it was written for British readers of another century, it is necessary to know the background of the story if you want to fully enjoy it.
Many jokes that are interwoven in the story were meaningful to people in the Victorian era, but now we need to have them explained. The story also contains some private jokes that could be understood only by the intimate friends of the author!
With this site I am trying to point out that Alice in Wonderland is more than just a children’s book and that the nonsense is not as random as it seems at the first glance.
The Red Queen shook her head, “You may call it ‘nonsense’ if you like,” she said, “but I’ve heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!”
What it is not about
This site does not tell you ‘the truth’ about the meaning behind the books. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” can be read on many levels:
- a children’s story with jokes and wordplay;
- a story with references to Victorian society, the life of the author and his favorite child friend;
- a story that contains hidden meanings, like drug promotion, sexual speculations, etc.
This site focuses on the second level and lightly touches the third.
Bear in mind that there is no solid evidence that any hidden meanings exist at all – it is mere speculation. As the author died more than a century ago, we cannot be sure what exactly he had in mind when he wrote the books.
The following text, from PinkMonkey.com, verbalises this in a very good way:
“The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis.
There are no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information about an author’s life and the basic information about setting and characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective reading of what an author has written; each person brings a different set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result, no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light, and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author.
In your course of literature study, you or your professor/teacher may come up with a different interpretation of the mood or the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically supported with information contained within the piece of literature, is just as correct as [the one’s you’ll find here]. So is the interpretation of your teacher or professor. […]
Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend.”
`You!’ said the Caterpillar contemptuously. `Who are YOU?’
My name is Lenny de Rooy; I’m a Dutchwoman, born on 25 August 1979. I studied Business Administration at the University of Nijmegen. At the moment I’m working as Online Marketing & Conversion specialist for a university. That means that I help make our websites user-friendly, make them rank high in search engine result pages, and advertise for them.
Besides maintaining this website, I have lots of hobbies. Amongst others, I like dancing and playing the bagpipe!
As you can see, I’m very fond of the Alice books. My fascination for the story started when I was a little girl and through the years it has grown. When I got access to the internet, I immediately started searching for websites about ‘Alice’, but I couldn’t find many pages with much info. That’s why I decided to create one of my own, on which everything would be grouped together.
When I say ‘everything’, I mean as many things as possible about the Alice books and Disney’s cartoon movie, not about Carroll himself. I’m very interested in his books, but I don’t want to include his photography and all the other activities he was involved in. I’ll leave that to other people. Otherwise this site would become too vast and enormous!
I put my first website online in December 1997. And it was a bad one :-). However, because people appeared to be interested in the topic, I kept expanding it. In the years that followed, the site underwent several major changes, which resulted in what you are seeing now! I used to build and design as much as possible all by myself, but when I finally switched from manual coding to using a CMS in 2015, I had to admit that designing WordPress templates was somewhat out of my league. The current design was created by 4Bit Webdesign.
Before I get more comments on the Disney part (‘He didn’t combine the books, he messed them up!’, ‘Bad, bad, bad Disney…’) I’d like to make this clear: when I was a young child, I watched that movie over and over again. Now I know it almost by heart. If I hadn’t seen this movie, I’d never have read the book. So I’m very grateful to Disney for showing me the way to this great work of literature, introducing it to me when I was too young to appreciate the books (Now you can forgive me, can’t you?).
I love to receive comments on this site, so that I can improve it. You’re also welcome to correct my grammar or spelling, as I’m not a native English speaker.
“– But you make no remark?”
“I — I didn’t know I had to make one — just then,” Alice faltered out.
“You should have said, ‘It’s extremely kind of you to tell me all this’ — however, we’ll suppose it said.”