Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New Republic

In a recent column in the New Republic entitled “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College professor of visual arts, examines “Alice in Wonderland” author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (alias Lewis Carroll) and the possible inspiration for his book, ten-year-old Alice Liddell.

“Dodgson, as has been the case with many brilliant and successful authors of children’s books, seems to have experienced childhood as a perennially available state—preserved out of time, like a photographic image—to which he could return and in which he could perpetually dwell… Which is why the Alice behind Alice may really be the shy, curious, emotionally naïve Oxford mathematics don himself rather than, or as well as, the living, breathing Alice Liddell, even though it was to her he gave his first copy, called Alice’s Adventures Underground, in 1864, as a Christmas present,” Spitz writes.


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