Lewis Carroll and his 'Alice' books

This guide helps you find information about Lewis Carroll's famous children's books, how they inspired later authors and artists, and how the original works have been transformed.

Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell

Alice's adventures in Wonderland may be an irreverent game of cards and the sequel Through the looking-glass and what Alice found there a fantasy world set on a chess board, but both have relevance beyond those settings for children and adults.

In the Biographies section below we help you find biographical information on Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) and Alice Liddell (1852-1934), the child who inspired Carroll's story.

In the Social history section which follows, the Victorian social and political significance of episodes is explored.

An excellent online resource is produced by the Lewis Carroll Society where information about Dodgson's works, life, and Carrollian places and events to visit in the UK can be found.


Click the links below to find biographical information about Charles Dodgson and why he insisted on the pseudonym Lewis Carroll in association with his Alice books; or background about the child who inspired Carroll, Alice Liddell, one of the three daughters of the Vice Chancellor of Oxford University and Dean of Christ Church, Henry Liddell.

Online resources

Print resources

To search for further biographical resources enter 'Lewis Carroll' or 'Alice Liddell' and 'biography' in the large search box, then you can refine your search by scrolling through the options on the left hand side of the screen, or sort the list using the drop-down menu above the first entry.

Social history

The Alice books reflect the author's response to changes occurring in the second half of the 19th century. Two resources, The annotated Alice and More annotated Alice by Martin Gardner, give perspective on the significance of episodes in both Alice books:

  • to the established British class system
  • technological developments associated with increasing mechanisation
  • unprecedented population expansion in cities
  • environmental pollution from factories
  • and shifts in the distribution of wealth and power

Additional print resources include

Tenniel's illustrations for Through the looking-glass and what Alice found there

John Tenniel's illustrations for Alice's adventures in Wonderland