Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday Tales: Alice in Wonderland

Tuesday Tales today should remind you folks of a previous post (The Top 10 List of Things Based on Alice in Wonderland). Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or Alice in Wonderland for most, was written in 1865 by Lewis Carroll, a.k.a. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

The story follows a little girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into the amazing fantasy world of Wonderland. Wonderland is full of fantastic creatures like White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, the Duchess, the March Hare, Caterpillar, Queen of Hearts, and Mock Turtle. Alice encounters magic food and drink that make her shrink and grow. She plays croquet with live animals. The story is rife with plays on logic and has been considered highly influential in the fantasy genre.

I love the back story on this particular Tale. It started as a story told to the three young daughters of Henry Liddell while they were in a boat traveling on the River Thames. The characters are loosely based on people living in England at the time. Alice was styled after one of those little girls. Bill the Lizard is thought to have been based on Benjamin Disraeli, the Prime Minister at the time. The Hatter was most likely based on a furniture dealer in Oxford known for crazy inventions, Theophilus Carter.

The silly riddles and hidden references to math, Latin, and the War of the Roses are cute and unique. I have not found another story that is quiet so irreverent that it gets to you in a good way like Alice does. The story has been adapted into several movies. A silent film version came out in 1903. The famous Disney cartoon came out in 1951. Johnny Depp's AiW came out in 2010, and was the 2nd highest grossing film of 2010 (it is the 6th highest grossing film of all time)! People have really come to adore this story, giving it an almost cult worship status I can imagine.

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