On 26 and 27 May there will be a series of talks about the ‘Alice’ books, Lewis Carroll, and Alice Liddell in Lyndhurst, UK.
The talks are organized by the New Forest Heritage Trust. Both evenings consist of two short talks with a glass of wine in between the two.
Friday 26th May:
Alice in Waterland: the Oxford origins of Wonderland
Mark Davies of the Lewis Carroll Society will explain how the River Thames was fundamental to the creation of Alice’s Adventures. From the riverside picnic when the story was first told in 1862 to the last of the many boat outings which Lewis Carroll made with the real Alice (Liddell) and her sisters, numerous real people, places, and events on or near the river influenced the composition. There’s more, much more, than you might imagine to characters such as the Red Queen and the Hatter, and to episodes such as ‘The Pool of Tears’, ’Wool and Water’, and the ‘Treacle Well’!
Beyond Alice: The Other Women in Lewis Carroll’s Life
Lewis Carroll Society member Jane Skelly will discuss how Lewis Carroll was one of 11 children, seven of which were female. Aged 12, he was sent off to boys’ schools and then went to all-male Oxford college Christ Church – but this did not mean that there were no women in his life for, quite apart from his well-documented friendships with girls, notably Alice Liddell, he had many adult female acquaintances, including writers, poets, actresses, artists, photographers and social reformers. This talk will provide brief biographies of some of Carroll’s adult women friends and also attempt to describe the nature of those friendships and how they arose.
Saturday 27th May:
Let’s pretend we’re Kings and Queens: Alice, Carroll and Victorian Royalty
Mark Davies of the Lewis Carroll Society will reveal how it was not only in Wonderland and on the other side of the Looking-glass that Alice had royal encounters! Christ Church, the Oxford college where the real Alice’s father was Dean and Lewis Carroll was a don, was a favourite of Queen Victoria, and the higher education of two of her sons was entrusted to Dean Liddell. Alice became especially close to Prince Leopold, her youngest son. In Carroll’s case it was mainly his skill as a photographer rather than his writing which gained him royal attention. This talk will outline some of these not always reverential encounters, including reference to Alice’s local home of Cuffnells.
The Real Alice and her influence
Alice Liddell’s great-granddaughter, Vanessa Tait, is the author of three novels, the first of which, The Looking Glass House, is about her great-grandmother: the real Alice, Alice Liddell, for whom the story of Alice in Wonderland was told. Her talk will draw from her family stories of Alice, as well as her own experience of having to inhabit her when she was a child, and looking very like Alice.
Location: Lyndhurst Community Centre, Lyndhurst, United Kingdom