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Short Synopsis
Following his acclaimed biography of Dickens, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst illuminates the tangled history of two lives and two books. Drawing on numerous unpublished sources, he examines in detail the peculiar friendship between the Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell, the child for whom he invented the Alice stories, and analyzes how this relationship stirred Carroll's imagination and influenced the creation of Wonderland.

Full Synopsis
Following his acclaimed biography of Dickens, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst illuminates the tangled history of two lives and two books. Drawing on numerous unpublished sources, he examines in detail the peculiar friendship between the Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell, the child for whom he invented the Alice stories, and analyzes how this relationship stirred Carroll's imagination and influenced the creation of Wonderland.

The Story of Alice reveals Carroll as both an innovator and a stodgy traditionalist, entrenched in habits and routines. He had a keen double interest in keeping things moving and keeping them just as they are. (In Looking-Glass Land, Alice must run faster and faster just to stay in one place.) Tracing the development of the Alice books from their inception in 1862 to Liddell's death in 1934, Douglas-Fairhurst also provides a keyhole through which to observe a larger, shifting cultural landscape: the birth of photography, changing definitions of childhood, murky questions about sex and sexuality, and the relationship between Carroll's books and other works of Victorian literature.

"[C]atnip for serious Carroll enthusiasts and academics." ---Booklist

"The backstory of Alice in Wonderland is almost as enchanting as the tale Carroll wrote, and Douglas-Fairhurst skillfully presents it here." ---Library Journal

"Grindell's energetic pacing keeps it all moving along, and he changes tone and emphasis to good effect. He employs an edge of wonder for the literary wordplay of Alice's fictional world." ---AudioFile

The Story of Alice

Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland

Author Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Narrated by Shaun Grindell

Publication date May 24, 2016

Running time 16 hrs

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