Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a work of children's literature by the British mathematician and author Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. The tale is fraught with satirical allusions to Dodgson's friends and to the lessons which British schoolchildren were expected to memorize. The Wonderland described in the tale plays with logic in ways that has made the story of lasting popularity with children, mathematicians, and users of psychedelics.

In 1998 a first-edition copy of the book sold at auction for $1.5 million USD, becoming the most expensive children's book ever sold. Only twenty-two copies of the 1865 first edition are known to have survived, 17 are owned by libraries the other 5 being in private hands.

The book has a sequel: Through the Looking-Glass, and movie adaptations often combine elements from both books.

The American writer Martin Gardner has produced a work entitled The Annotated Alice, incorporating the text of both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. It has extensive annotations explaining them, including the Victorian poems that Dodgson parodies in the two books.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Contents
3 The plot
4 The Characters in order of appearance
5 Poems and songs
6 Thematic elements
7 Cinematic adaptations
8 Inspired
9 External link


The book was published on July 4, 1865, exactly three years after Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed in a boat up the River Thames with three little girls:

  • Lorina Charlotte Liddell (aged 13) (Primus in the opening verse)
  • Alice Pleasance Liddell (aged 10) (Seconda in the opening verse)
  • Edith Liddell (aged 8)

The journey had started at Folly Bridge near Oxford, England and ended five miles away in a village of Godstow. During the journey the Reverend Dodgson made up and told the girls a story, which he later developed into Alice's Adventures Underground which then became Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


The plot

A small girl named Alice is bored while on a picnic with her sister. She find interest in a white rabbit, dressed in a topcoat and muttering "I'm late!", which she follows down a rabbit's hole. She drops down into dream underworld of paradox, the absurd and the improbable. As she attempts to follow the rabbit, she has several misadventures. She meets a group of small animals stranded in a sea of her own tears, then gets trapped in the rabbit's house, meets a baby which changes into a pig and a cat which disappears, goes to a never-ending tea party, plays croquet with an anthropomorphised deck of cards, goes to the shore and meets some more odd creatures, until the story ends with the Knave of Hearts being put on trial for stealing some tarts, and Alice waking up underneath a tree back with her sister.

The Characters in order of appearance

Poems and songs

Thematic elements

Cinematic adaptations


The sequel (see link above)

The Goon Show which followed similarly skewed ideas of logic. The Beatles had similarly surreal ideas in such songs as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and I am the Walrus (the Walrus being the one in Through the Looking Glass).

Alice has recently been seen in two comic book series by Alan Moore: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (in passing), and Lost Girls (as a grown up); a dark and bloody computer game: 
American McGee's Alice; and a Tom Waits album. 

Allusions to Alice's adventures are also rife in the film The Matrix.

External link

Caterpillar using a hookah; an illustration by John Tenniel\n