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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson

Updated on January 4, 2010

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a novel for children by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, writing under the pen name Lewis Carroll. The book was published in 1865. Although intended primarily as a tale of fantasy and nonsensical umor for children, the book also achieved great popularity among adults for its parodies of serious adult situations and conventions. The story grew out of a tale that Dodgson, a mathematician and lecturer at Oxford, told to the three young daughters of his friend, the classical scholar Henry George Liddell. One of the girls was the original for the novel's main character, Alice. The success of the book led Carroll to write a sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1872). Both books were illustrated by Sir John Tenniel, chief cartoonist for Punch magazine, and the illustrations have become classics along with the books.

Alice's adventures occur during a dream. She follows a white rabbit into a rabbit hole and finds herself in a strange, irrational world peopled by characters such as the fantastic Duchess, the grinning Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the King and Queen of Hearts. She plays croquet with the Queen, using live flamingos for mallets; attends a tea party with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and a sleepy Dormouse; and takes part in a hilarious and maddeningly unfair trial of the thief of tarts.

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