First published in 1865, this fantastical story was all inspired by one ordinary 10-year-old girl named Alice Liddell (photo, above). The young mathematician Charles Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll) had a wild imagination and loved telling outlandish tales that his adult friends just couldn’t appreciate. Alice and her two sisters, however, were absorbed in Carroll’s stories.
On one particular outing with the girls’ family, Carroll told a story about a protagonist named Alice falling into an underground world of curious characters. The real-life Alice was so taken with the story that Carroll wrote it down and illustrated a copy for her.
Nobody imagined that such a nonsensical story would continue to fascinate and entertain readers more than 150 years later. Its universal themes—like growing up, personal identity, and self-reliance—have stood the test of time for both young and old readers alike.
Source: DeReign, Sam, The Real-Life Girl Who Inspired Alice in Wonderland, Course Hero, May 25, 2016, https://www.coursehero.com/blog/2016/05/25/the-real-life-girl-who-inspired-alice-in-wonderland/.