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A boat beneath a sunny sky

Posted by Gimwinkle on Thursday, February 14 2019 at 2:48:57PM
In reply to You just discovered this? posted by LGsinmyheart on Thursday, February 14 2019 at 02:46:11AM

Alice’s Garden

On 4 July 1862, Reverend Robinson Duckworth was rowing a boat near Oxford, England carrying Charles Dodgson and three young Liddell girls: 13-year-old Lorina Liddell, 10-year-old Alice, and 8-year-old Edith. Dodgson entertained them with a story which later became a manuscript titled “Alice's Adventures Under Ground” given to Alice later in November 1864. Dodgson re-wrote the story and titled it “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” which, with illustrations by John Tenniel, was published in 1865, under the name Lewis Carroll.

In the now famous book, (one of two dedicated to “Alice Pleasance Liddell"), Alice finds Herself in a giant hall at the end of the likewise famous rabbit hole, surrounded by locked doors.

Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head though the doorway.

It is this garden that you refer to. It represents Her desire, Her will, and Her belief in goodness and happiness.

Critics may say as they will, but Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was seriously in love with the real child even though he later claimed that the Alice in both books (Wonderland and Looking Glass) was entirely imaginary and not based upon any real child at all. However, that claim is rather weak considering that he gave the original manuscript of Wonderland to the real Alice and there are links to Liddell in the two books. First, he set them on 4 May (Liddell's birthday) and 4 November (Her "half-birthday"), and in Looking Glass, the fictional Alice declares that Her age is "seven and a half exactly", the same as Liddell on that date. Finally, there is a poem at the end of Looking Glass that spells out Liddell's full name from the first letter of each line.

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July—

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear—

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream—
Lingering in the golden gleam—
Life, what is it but a dream?

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