In 1851, Charles Dodgson came to Christ Church to study mathematics. He spent the rest of his life here as a student and teacher. It was while he wrote for a student paper that he was given the writing name - "Lewis Carroll," by his editor.
It was at Christ Church that Dodgson first met the children of the then Dean (head of the College): Harry, Alice, Lorina and Edith. He had asked permission to photograph the Cathedral from the Deanery garden. While in the process of setting up his cumbersome equipment he was approached by Alice and her two sisters who wanted to be photographed. Soon, their friendship blossomed and the girls were regular visitors to his rooms, and he to their nursery.
The girls loved Dodgson to tell them stories, turning their everyday surroundings into Wonderland stories. Although the stories were fantastic in nature, Dodgson would use familiar things and people as the starting point. Christ Church - the place which Alice had known all her life plays a very important part in many of her adventures in Wonderland!
There is plenty more Lewis Carroll and Alice information at other Oxford venues, including Alice's Shop, which is the real site of the old Sheep Shop which appears in Alice through the Looking Glass.
More information about Lewis Caroll and Alice, along with many other useful links, is available at the delightful Storybook England site where you can discover the places in England that captured the heart of some of our best-loved authors.
An unabridged audiobook of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland produced by Oxford-based Storypods and narrated by a cast of actors from Oxfordshire is available from http://www.storypods.co.uk
The British Library Discovering Literature resource has a section dedicated to Lewis Carroll (which focuses on Romantic and Victorian Literature) and has a vast array of essays and articles with engaging original material that would be of great use to students and academics alike.
You can view it here.
Inspired by the Hatter's Tea Party and the many references to food and drink throughout the takes of 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking-glass', Christ Church is holding a series of Afternoon teas at High Table in its magnificent Tudor Hall. For further details and to book your place on-line please click here
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