Alice in Waterland
Lewis Carroll and the River Thames in Oxford
Mark J. Davies
published 2010 • 6 1/2" x 9" • 130 pages • b&w illustrations
ISBN 9781904955726 • paperback • $16.95 •
“A splendid book—fully informative and balanced about Dodgson’s life and (Alice-related) preoccupations, and marvellously detailed when it comes to the river and Oxford. A really important addition to the literature of Lewis Carroll and Oxford, I’m sure it will be eagerly bought and read by students of literature (and especially children’s literature) as well as visitors to the city.”
“This thoroughly enjoyable book reveals, for the first time, the importance of Oxford’s waterways as a background to the stories."A world-famous Oxford story from a new angle: the essential role played by the River Thames in the creation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.
—Mark Richards, Chairman, The Lewis Carroll Society.
It was on rowing trips with Alice Liddell and her sisters that Lewis Carroll (the Oxford don Charles Dodgson) invented many of the tales which were later incorporated into the books; it was on the riverbank on 4 July 1862 that Wonderland had its birth; and it was from particular incidents on or near the Thames that Carroll drew inspiration for some well-known episodes.
Combining excerpts from Carroll’s diaries and the "Alice" books with contemporary images, memoirs, and fiction, Alice in Waterland sets the Oxford scene of the time (including the burgeoning Pre-Raphaelite movement) and sheds new light on the real individuals who inspired characters such as the Hatter, the Sheep, and the Red Queen.
The book takes the reader on a literary journey of discovery along almost ten miles of the Thames near Oxford, in the company of the "merry crew" of Lewis Carroll, Alice, and her sisters on the scenic and lively river of which they were all so fond.
Mark Davies is an Oxford local historian, guide, speaker, and writer. Since deciding to live on a canalboat in central Oxford in 1992, he has written and published four books: Our Canal in Oxford and A Towpath Walk in Oxford (both co-written with Catherine Robinson), The Abingdon Waterturnpike Murder, and Stories of Oxford Castle (all under the Oxford Towpath Press imprint).
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