Lewis Carroll's incomparable tales about Alice, the seven-year-old Victorian girl who journeys to worlds populated by some of the oddest beings ever imagined, have delighted children for generations. Carroll originally created the dream adventures to amuse Alice Liddell, his young neighbor, and the riddles, puns, parodies, and absurd arguments about meanings and manners brilliantly mock -- and undermine -- the rules and social conventions adults invariably impose on children. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1872) have also always attracted and intrigued older, more sophisticated readers. From the critic William Epsom's ground-breaking Freudian interpretation of the books to Virginia Woolf's declaration that "the two Alices are not books for children, they are the only books in which we become children", to countless studies by philosophers, linguists, mathematicians, and literary critics, it has long been acknowledged that Carroll's masterpieces redefined our notions of "children's literature". In the Introduction, Hugh Haughton chronicles the genesis of the Alice books and frankly discusses Carroll's infatuation with Alice Liddell and his life-long fascination with preadolescent girls, the subject of much speculation during Carroll's lifetime and ever after.
Tags: Children's Books,