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The Alice Behind Wonderland Hardcover – March 17, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
That in itself is not a serious fault. Far more serious are the very many errors of fact. I list just a few; there are plenty more. He did not live in Tom Quad in 1856; he moved there in 1868 (p.11). His parents were first cousins, not third cousins (p.12). His back-garden railway was at Croft, not Daresbury (pp.12-13). Not all of his home-made magazines survive (p.18). Charles arrived at Oxford 30, not 40, years after his father graduated (p.19). Henrietta was seven, not four, when Carroll's mother died (p.20). He refers to "a magazine that for some inexplicable reason was called the Train" (p.27); the reasons for its name are well-known. Similarly, it is well known why Dodgson suggested the name Edgar Cuthwellis (p.29) - it is an anagram of his first two names, Charles Lutwidge. Maybe these errors are minor, but they could all have been avoided by reading the books that the author himself recommends for further reading. It does mean that it is difficult to trust any statement in the book without checking it.
The climax of the book describes Carroll taking the cover photo, of Alice as a beggar. "Is Mrs. Liddell watching? Is Lorina in the garden? And Edith? ... Would anyone care that Dodgson then reached behind the little girl's hair and adjusted the off-white garment about her shoulders, such that it fell slightly from her left and exposed only just entirely her left nipple?" (p.Read more ›
Winchester does not understand how a view camera works. He writes that the whole of the camera needs to be brought into the darkroom for the plate to be inserted. But he writes that there is an "ingenious flap" and so only the negative frame need be brought back in the darkroom for development.Read more ›
Further,and despite the many many books that carefully suggest otherwise Winchester chooses only one book,published in the late 1990s to support his viewpoint,and the data in that book is not direct but second hand,and second hand opinion at that.Winchester concedes that quite a bit of the material written by Dodgson himself during the period in which he was involved with the Liddells had been deliberately destroyed and with the knowledge of the very people upon whom Winchester relies to bail Dodgson's questionable reputation out,that is to say Dodgson's own family.How odd then that while his surviving relatives chose to leave the bulk of his journals and personal writings intact they made it a point to destroy all evidence of his personal writings from this crucial period and then chose to substitute their "recollections"in place of what they themselves destroyed.How much more curious that Winchester chooses to give credence to these recollections as if they represent a final say on the matter,.
Victorian middle and upper-class families are quite often described as living life under a double-standard.Prim and conservative on the outside they are often described as vice-ridden in secret.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I expected a little more at the climax of the book, when Dodgson is asked by Alice to write down the fanciful story he had spun for her casually on a day outing, but it was... Read morePublished 18 days ago by James Toop
Fantastic!!!!!! A must read. I have read everything that Winchester has written and every one is as good as a book can get. Joan DraperPublished 6 months ago by Joan L. Draper
I really enjoyed this book. If you are interested in the subject matter, I think you will like it, too. At 128 pages it is a little slim: take that into account. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Daniel P. Smith
A strange book, elicited via a strange set of circumstances. Why would a family as close to a friend as Alice's family was to Dodgson ignore his wedding gift? Read morePublished 11 months ago by Helena Howell
interesting short bio, but the familial details were a bit boring...still, the case for Alica was made...not Winchester's finest, but ok. Read morePublished 13 months ago by AB
Winchester as always surprises and enlightens. This is a great book .Michael PricePublished 13 months ago by Michael Price