Credit: National Media Museum/SSPL/SSPL via Getty Images

Historical Insights Publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published in 1865, explores themes like growing up, abandonment, death, justice, and dreams. About 1860. Credit: National Media Museum/SSPL/SSPL via Getty Images

Publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published in 1865, was an instant smash and gained a fan base of all ages.

When Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1865, its popularity was immediate, attracting the likes of Queen Victoria and Oscar Wilde as ardent fans. Written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematician and deacon at Christ Church, Oxford, the book started as an oral tale told one sunny July afternoon in 1862 on a boat trip with a friend and three little girls, one of whom was 10-year-old Alice Liddell. Alice loved the story so much, she asked Dodgson to write it down for her. He did, presenting it to her with his own illustrations in 1864 and titled Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. Novelist Henry Kingsley saw the manuscript and convinced Dodgson to publish it. After making additions to the tale, it was published in 1865 under the pen name Lewis Carroll with illustrations by John Tenniel, a popular cartoonist. The book has not been out of print since.