The Bookshelf
The original stories and their background

The Looking Glass
Adaptations, interpretations and all reflections of Alice

The Chess Board
Places and attractions to visit

The Sheep Shop
Collectables and memorabilia

The Croquet Ground
Games and activities

The Pocket Watch
News and events

The Hall of Doors
Links to other Alice sites



To-Do List

The Bookshelf

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in WonderlandAlice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, first published in November 1865 by Macmillan, follows a little girl called Alice as she explores a nonsensical land inhabited by peculiar people and anthropomorphised objects and animals.

  The story features 42 illustrations by John Tenniel and contains several poems, most of which are parodies of popular songs from the time.

  • Chapter One: Down the Rabbit Hole - Alice is sitting on a river bank with her sister, feeling bored, when a talking white rabbit runs past. She follows him into his rabbit hole and falls down a deep well, landing in a hall lined with locked doors. Finding a tiny key on a glass table, she unlocks the smallest door of all, which leads to a beautiful garden, but Alice is too big to fit through. She drinks from a mysterious bottle and shrinks, but now she cannot reach the key on the table. She discovers a small cake and decides to eat it, hoping it will make her grow.
  • Chapter Two: The Pool of Tears - Alice does grow, so large in fact that her head reaches the ceiling. Very confused and upset, she cries so much that her tears form a large pool. The White Rabbit returns, dropping his fan at the sight of Alice, and when she picks it up, she shrinks once more. In danger of drowning in her own tears, Alice swims to dry land, meeting (and offending) a mouse on the way.
  • Chapter Three: A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale - Alice and the mouse are joined on the shore by a large group of birds, all soaking wet and very cross. The mouse attempts to dry them all with a dull history lecture, but the Dodo suggests a Caucus-race would be more effective. They run in a sort of circle for half an hour or so, until they are dry, and Alice is elected to give everyone prizes. She soon manages to offend the creatures and is left alone.
  • Chapter Four: The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill - The White Rabbit appears again and, mistaking Alice for his housemaid, sends her off to fetch gloves and a fan. Inside the rabbit's house, Alice finds another bottle, which causes her to grow again, filling the room. The rabbit orders Bill the Lizard to climb down the chimney, but Alice fends him off with a kick. The animals then throw pebbles through the window, which turn into cakes that make Alice shrink again. She escapes into a thick wood, where she encounters an enormous puppy.
  • Chapter Five: Advice from a Caterpillar - In the wood, Alice finds an impolite blue caterpillar sitting on a mushroom and smoking a hookah. After Alice recites You are old, Father William, the caterpillar explains that eating a piece of mushroom from either side will make her taller or shorter, before crawling away. Alice eats a piece of mushroom and first finds her chin pressed closely against her feet, then eats another piece that makes her neck rise up through the trees like a stalk. This greatly distresses a nesting pigeon, who mistakes her for a serpent. Alice carefully nibbles each piece of mushroom until she is back to her normal size.
  • Chapter Six: Pig and Pepper - Outside a small house, Alice observes a Fish-Footman delivering a croquet invitation from the Queen to the Duchess's Frog-Footman. Inside the kitchen, Alice meets the Duchess, who is mistreating her baby, the Cheshire Cat, who sits on the hearth grinning, and the Cook, who fills the air with pepper and throws everything within reach at the Duchess. Alice takes the baby outside, where it turns into a pig and runs away. The Cheshire Cat appears in a tree and directs her to the March Hare's house.
  • Chapter Seven: A Mad Tea-Party - Alice finds the March Hare having tea in the garden with the Hatter and the Dormouse. She joins them without being invited. The Hatter asks Alice a riddle and tells her about his problems with Time, and the Dormouse tells a story. Insulted by their rudeness, Alice leaves the party and finds her way into the beautiful garden.
  • Chapter Eight: The Queen's Croquet Ground - Alice meets three playing card gardeners, who are painting white roses red, and sees a procession of the entire pack, including the Queen of Hearts, who promptly sentences Alice to execution, only to change her mind and invite her to play croquet. They use flamingos for mallets and hedgehogs for balls. When the Cheshire Cat's head appears, the Queen sends for the Duchess.
  • Chapter Nine: The Mock Turtle's Story - The Duchess arrives, in a much better state of mind than before, and walks with Alice, finding morals in everything. The Queen sends Alice off with the Gryphon to meet the Mock Turtle, who sorrowfully recounts his school days.
  • Chapter Ten: The Lobster Quadrille - The Mock Turtle and the Gryphon perform The Lobster Quadrille and Alice attempts to recite a poem, which comes out unexpectedly as 'Tis the voice of the Lobster. The Mock Turtle tearfully sings Beautiful Soup, before Alice and the Gryphon leave for "the trial".
  • Chapter Eleven: Who Stole the Tarts? - The trial is for the Knave of Hearts, who is accused of stealing the Queen's tarts. The King is the judge, and the jury is comprised of various creatures, some of whom Alice has met previously. As the trial progresses, Alice realises she is growing again. The Hatter is called as the first witness, then the Duchess's Cook and, finally, Alice herself.
  • Chapter Twelve: Alice's Evidence - When Alice insists she knows nothing about the alleged crime, the King orders her to leave the court, saying she is in violation of Rule 42 for being over a mile high. When Alice stands up for herself, the whole pack of cards attack, and she finds herself lying on the riverbank once more. Her adventures were only a curious dream. Alice runs home, but her sister stays behind and thinks about Alice, whom she imagines growing up and delighting other children with the story of her wonderful dream.

Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There

Through the Looking-GlassThrough the Looking-Glass
Through the Looking-Glass  Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, published in 1871 by Macmillan, is the sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and follows Alice as she passes through the mirror and finds herself part of a living chess game.

  The book features 50 illustrations by John Tenniel and, like its predecessor, contains several poems, most of which are parodies of popular songs from the time.
  • Chapter One: Looking-Glass House - On a snowy day in November, Alice climbs through the mirror into Looking-glass House, where the chess pieces are alive, walking about on the hearth and talking. Alice holds a Looking-glass book up to the mirror and reads the poem Jabberwocky, before rushing outside to see the garden.
  • Chapter Two: The Garden of Live Flowers - Alice meets talking flowers and the Red Queen, who is now taller than Alice herself. She explains that Alice is now a White Pawn in a great game of chess, and when she reaches the Eighth Square, she will be a Queen.
  • Chapter Three: Looking-Glass Insects - Alice finds herself on a train journey along with a goat, a beetle, a man dressed in white paper and a horse. When the train jumps over a brook and suddenly vanishes, Alice talks to a gnat and learns about the looking-glass insects, before entering the wood of no names, where she meets a fawn.
  • Chapter Four: Tweedledum and Tweedledee - Having left the wood and remembered her name, Alice meets Tweedledee and Tweedledum, who tell her the story of The Walrus and the Carpenter. They see the Red King asleep and tell Alice that she is only a "thing in his dream". When Tweedledum discovers his new rattle broken, they agree to have a battle, but a monstrous crow frightens them away.
  • Chapter Five: Wool and Water - Alice meets the White Queen, who explains living backwards and transforms into a sheep. Alice finds herself in a shop, then in a boat, and then back in the shop, where she asks to buy an egg.
  • Chapter Six: Humpty Dumpty - The egg turns into Humpty Dumpty, with whom Alice discusses the meaning of words, particularly those in the opening verse of Jabberwocky, and the "glory" of un-birthday presents.
  • Chapter Seven: The Lion and the Unicorn - Alice meets the White King and his messengers, Haigha and Hatta. They see The Lion and the Unicorn fighting for the crown.
  • Chapter Eight: "It's My Own Invention" - The Red Knight claims Alice as his prisoner, but the White Knight comes to her rescue. He shows her his many inventions and sings A-sitting on a Gate, before escorting her to the Eighth Square, where she becomes a Queen.
  • Chapter Nine: Queen Alice - The Red and White Queens quiz Alice and promptly fall asleep. Alice attends her own dinner-party, and when the proceedings take a strange turn, she seizes the Red Queen.
  • Chapter Ten: Shaking - As Alice shakes her, the Red Queen becomes shorter, fatter, softer, rounder...
  • Chapter Eleven: Waking - ... and turns out to be a kitten.
  • Chapter Twelve: Which Dreamed It? - Alice considers whether her adventures were the Red King's dream or her own.

Alice's Adventures Underground

Alice's Adventures Underground   Alice's Adventures Underground is the original 1864 manuscript written and illustrated by Carroll/Dodgson and given to Alice Liddell, to whom he first told the story on a picnic two years earlier. The dedication reads "A Christmas Gift to a Dear Child in Memory of a Summer Day". In March 1885, Dodgson re-established contact with Alice, by this time 32 years old and named Mrs Hargreaves, asking if she would consent to a facsimile publication of the manuscript. She agreed, and after many trials and tribulations in having the pages reproduced, the edition was published in December 1886 by Macmillan. Hargreaves kept the original manuscript until her husband passed away in 1928, and she was forced to sell it in order to pay death duties. It sold to an American book-dealer for £15,400, a British auction record for any book, and the sale made headline news. It passed hands a further two times before being donated to the British Museum (now the British Library) in 1948, as a token of appreciation of Britain's role in the Second World War.

  The story is very similar to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, only the chapters Pig and Pepper and A Mad Tea Party are not present, and the trial of the Knave of Hearts is significantly shorter. Other differences include the White Rabbit's nosegay instead of a fan, the words of the mouse's long and sad tale (the shape of the poem remains the same), a walk to a cottage in place of the Caucus-race, ostriches instead of flamingos and a few personal references, such as the names Florence and Gertrude. Dodgson's illustrations are somewhat similar in style to Tenniel's and provide a unique visual insight into the author's imagination.

Alice's Adventures Underground

  You can now browse the original manuscript online for free at The British Library's website.

The Nursery "Alice"

The Nursery Alice
  Published in 1889 by Macmillan, The Nursery "Alice" is a simplified version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, for children aged "nought to five", with 20 of Tenniel's illustrations in colour (Alice's clothing has also been updated slightly). The cover artwork is by Emily Gertrude Thomson.

The Nursery Alice