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This year marked the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  There have been many articles and books written in celebration of this brilliant work.  David Day’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Decoded (2015) must be one of the most unique explorations of the book’s creation.  Day pairs the full text of the novel with a detailed analysis of how Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) tapped his interests in mathematics, literature, religion, music and more to build a complex world for a curious little girl named Alice.

by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson),photograph,2 June 1857

by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson),photograph,2 June 1857

It is widely believed that the character Alice is based on Alice Liddell. Alice and her sisters Lorina, Edith and brother Harry were the children of Henry George Liddell, dean of Christ Church College, Oxford where Hodgson had been studying mathematics. He would befriend the family and especially the sisters and the rest is literary history.

Alice Liddel, photograph by ,1860

Alice Liddel, photograph by Lewis Carroll,1860

A few years ago I had the opportunity to meander around Christ Church, Oxford and there I photographed a stained glass window by Edward Burne-Jones. His model was Edith Liddell.  That image appears in Mr. Day’s book for which I am grateful because the book is filled with beautiful illustrations, photography and reproductions of engraving and paintings.  And then there’s the mathematical diagram of Fibonacci’s rabbits and the explanation of how that rule applies to the story.  The book truly is a treat for people of wide-ranging interests.

Highly recommend this article by Katherine Dedyna in the Times Colonist and Nathan Whitlock’s review on the Quill and Quire.

The book is available for purchase via the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Alices-Adventures-Wonderland-Decoded-Carrolls/dp/0385682263

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