Gillian Tindall

Don’s Delight

The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland

By

Harvill Secker 488pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

On the starry cover of this fat book is the silhouette of the well-known picture by John Tenniel of Alice carrying the baby that has just turned into a pig. Into this blank space five generations, to date, have projected their own ideas, preoccupations, assumptions and fantasies. Everyone creates their own Alice and takes her where they want.

For the first hundred pages or so of this scholarly work I thought that it possibly contained too much circumstantial detail – some of it repeated – about the peaceful life of an Oxford don to whom nothing much happened and his imaginary girl-child,

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