Today is the 150th anniversary of the boat trip and picnic on a ""golden afternoon" from Oxford to Godstow on July 4th 1862 which inspired Charles Dodgson, othewise known as Lewis Carroll, to tell the stories to Alice Liddell which he published in 1865 as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and followed in 1871 with Through the Looking Glass.They are stories I was brought up on as a child and which retain their appeal to adults because of their depth and sheer delight and quirkiness. How often do we not refer to images that derive from these two childeren's stories in commenting on the world around us?The inspiration Dodgson found in his life in and around Christ Church as a mathematics don and in the life of the Liddell family and their friends and contacts can be discerned and give both books their continuing appeal to different age groups - the have become part of our wider heritage across the English speaking world.
The Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Sir John Tenniel's illustration
Mind you, although I am sure the Rev. Mr Dodgson's interest in childen was entirely innocent I fear that in today's Nanny State he would run the risk of a visit from the Thames Valley Police, the Child Proterction Agency and Social Services.