It was a warm summer day that gave rise to the tale Charles Dodgson wove to entertain his neighbors, Alice Liddell and her sisters. Boating down the river Thames in a punt, he spun a tale of pure magic for the girls. At Alice's insistence he wrote it down, so the story wouldn't disappear. In 1865, it was published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland under the pen name of Lewis Carroll. Nearly every year since that time a new edition of the book is published somewhere in the world.
An interesting man, Charles Dodgson was a mathematician and a scholar. In other words, the left side of his brain was highly developed. How in the world did he possess the level of artistry needed to create his wonderland masterpiece? I think by making up the story for the sheer pleasure of it. No pressure to perform in any capacity, his lighthearted muse was given free rein. What came through him was a gift to delight the ages.
Once again, the lazy days of summer are upon us. A perfect time to untether our imaginations and dabble in our creativity. There is no better time to try something new, just for the fun of it. Charles, a shy bachelor, certainly was out of his element when he penned Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for the Liddell girls. Who knows what we are capable of bringing forth in the spirit of joy.
And it's down the rabbit hole we go...
I based my Alice paper doll on my niece Andi. A more perfect Alice there never was.
Text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved.