Thursday, April 5, 2012

Alice Liddell Snapped by Lewis Carroll and Later in Life Looking Content

While the 1986 movie Dreamchild– penned by Dennis Potter – suggests that Lewis Carroll’s inspiration for his Alice in Wonderland stories had a tortured later life, there’s little in the biographical notes to support that theory.

Alice Pleasance Liddell was born May 4, 1852 and was known for much of her adult life as Alice Hargreaves.

 Alice Liddell was the fourth child of Henry Liddell, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford and his wife Lorina. She had two older brothers, Harry (born 1847) and Arthur (born 1850, who died in 1853), and an older sister Lorina (born 1849). She also had six younger siblings, including her sister Edith (born 1854) with whom she was close.
At the time of her birth, Liddell's father was the headmaster of Westminster School but soon after appointed to the deanery of Christ Church, Oxford.

The Liddell family moved to Oxford in 1856 and met Charles Dodgson while he was photographing the cathedral on April 25 1856.

He became a close friend of the Liddell family. Alice grew up primarily in the company of the two sisters nearest to her in age: Lorina, who was three years older, and Edith, who was two years younger.

Alice Liddell married Reginald Hargreaves on September 15 1880, at the age of 28.

They had three sons: Alan Knyveton Hargreaves and Leopold Reginald "Rex" Hargreaves (killed in action in World War 1) and Caryl Liddell Hargreaves, who survived to have a daughter of his own.

Hargreaves inherited a considerable fortune, and was a local magistrate and also played cricket for Hampshire. Alice became a noted society hostess. She died in 1934, eight years after her husband.

A mostly happy carefree life it seems. Accept, of course, for the tragedy of World War 1, which went to the heart of almost ever family in Britain and, of course, many other countries including Australia. 

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