Here at Sophie Allport, we simply can't get enough of Alice in Wonderland! We've got the mugs, the teapot and more (in fact, you can see our whole range of Alice in Wonderland products here), and we'll be among the many people celebrating ‘Alice's Day' in July. Want to join us?! Pour yourself a cup of tea, curl up on the sofa and tumble down the rabbit hole with these fun facts about Alice in Wonderland...
- Did you know that the story was inspired by a real girl? She was enjoying a picnic with her sisters on a summer's day in Oxford 150 years ago… On a sunny afternoon, a young girl named Alice Liddell and her sisters were meandering down a river on a boat with a grown-up friend of their father. To keep the girls entertained, the man (named Charles Dodgson) told them a story... "While sitting bored beside a riverbank..." (he said, or some words to that effect!) " ...the little girl's curiosity got the better of her and she tumbled down a rabbit hole into the topsy-turvy world of Wonderland!". Dodgson went on to elaborate the story many times over, and Alice Liddell thought it was so extraordinary that she begged him to write it down for her. Eventually, he did so under his pen name: 'Lewis Carroll'. The main character was named after Alice Liddell, and the manuscript titled "Alice's Adventures Under Ground" was given to Alice as an early Christmas present in 1864!
- Any guesses what happened to that manuscript? Well, it's now held in the British Library in London. It almost never leaves, and when it does, it goes with lots of security! You can visit it if you want to see Carroll's original words and drawings, and in our opinion, it's well worth the trip.
- Did you know that Alice in Wonderland is one of the most widely translated children's books - ever?! Alice in Wonderland became one of the most popular, most quoted and most translated children's books ever to have been published. It’s been translated into 176 languages and editions have even been written in shorthand!
- Lewis Carroll (aka Charles Dodgson) was actually a mathematician... not an author! He taught at Christ College in Oxford, and it was in his capacity as a professor that he met Alice Liddell's father. It's said that the 'Dodo' character in the story represents Dodgson himself, earning his name due to the fact that Dodgson had a stutter – Dodgson often introduced himself as 'Do-Do-Dod-Dodgson' when meeting new people.
- The illustrations for the book were created by a man named John Tenniel. Unfortunately, when he saw the first edition of the book, Tenniel was so disappointed with how his drawings had been reproduced that Carroll was forced to scrap it! This left a big hole in the finances, and Carroll had to spend more than half his annual salary getting it reprinted. Luckily, the book was such a success that Carroll quickly made his money back, and now we all get to enjoy the beautiful illustrations… some of which have inspired our range of Alice in Wonderland products here at Sophie Allport!
- It almost wasn't called Alice in Wonderland. Other tiles for the book included "Alice Among the Fairies" and "Alice's Hour in Elfland".
- And, finally, Alice Liddell - the real Alice in Wonderland - actually had brown hair, not blonde! Who knew, hey!?
So, will you be celebrating Alice in Wonderland Day this year? Treat yourself and the kids to a magical tea party of their own in the garden with our Alice themed Tea Pot, Tea Cup & Saucer and Tea Bag Tidy!
Do you still have a copy of Alice in Wonderland on your bookshelf? We’d love to know!