Aspects of Alice by Robert Philips, Ed.

By Robert Philips, Ed.

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The passionflower gave way to the tiger lily when the religious origin of its name was pointed out to Dodgson, but otherwise all the flowers may be found in the poem. " It must not be thought that either of the Alice books is derivative; they are both original with the absolute originality of sheer genius. All the various "originals" and suggestions served as so many sparks to touch off the sleeping gunpowder of Dodgson's imagination. Alice and the Looking-Glass are made up almost wholly of bits and scraps, single ideas which came of them:;elves, wrote Dodgson in April, 1887, after the two books had been made into an operetta by Henry Savile Clarke.

Little boys he feared and disliked : they were grubby and noisy and broke things. Most adults he found insensitive. At the age of twenty-four, he wrote in his diary : I think that the character of most that I meet is merely refined ani­ mal. How few seem to care for the only sub;ects of real interest in life! Naturally, most of his "child-friends" came from middle- or upper- 12 W. H. Auden middle-class English homes. He mentions having met one American child and the encounter was not a success : Lily Alice Godfrey, from New York: aged 8; but talked like a girl of 15 or 16, and declined to be kissed on wishing good-by, on the ground that she 'never kissed gentlemen'.

I went on first with the children as they could u;alk must faster than Elizabeth, and took them to the only house I knew in Sandford, Mrs. Broughton's, where Ranken lodges. I left them with her to get their clothes dried, and went off to find a vehicle . . We all had tea in my rooms about 8 : 30, after which I took the children home. Just over a fortnight later, Dodgson and Duckworth took the three children on another river expedition, upstream this time, and for the afternoon only. It was on July 4, and is probably the most famous picnic that has ever taken place.

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