On this day - July 4th

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Alice in Wonderland

Three years to the day after the boat-trip that sparked the story, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland were published in London by Macmillan and Co on July 4th 1865 and the book has never been out of print since that date.

The author was Oxford mathematics lecturer and clergyman Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who perhaps to protect his academic reputation published the nonsensically logical work under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll . On a boat trip with his colleague Robinson Duckworth and the three young children of Oxford University's vice-chancellor Henry Liddell — who was also Dean of Christ Church where Dodgson was based — Dodgson told the youngsters an impromptu tale which featured Alice as its heroine — 10-year-old Alice Liddell was the middle sister of the three.

Dodgson's story was a success on the trip, and he wrote it up for Alice; a friend prompted him to seek a publisher, and the rest is history. It is also innumerable films, cartoons, stage-plays and cultural references featuring among others the white rabbit, mad hatter, Cheshire cat, queen of hearts and dodo — like other characters a hidden reference to a real figure, in that case Dodgson himself, alluding to the stammer which made the author introduce himself as Do-Do-Dodgson.

Who was the illustrator of the first edition of Alice?

Click here for the answer

Sir John Tenniel

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