Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Dodgson), author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, created Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to entertain Alice and her sisters on a boat ride down the Thames. According to Wikipedia:
On July 4, 1862, in a rowing boat travelling on The Isis from Folly Bridge, Oxford to Godstow for a picnic outing, 10-year-old Alice asked Charles Dodgson (More commonly known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll) to entertain her and her sisters, Edith (age 8) and Lorina (age 13), with a story. As the Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed the boat, Dodgson regaled the girls with fantastic stories of a girl, named Alice, and her adventures after she fell into a rabbit-hole. The story was not unlike those Dodgson had spun for the sisters before, but this time Alice asked Mr. Dodgson to write it down for her. He promised to do so but did not get around to the task for some months. He eventually presented Alice with the manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground in November 1864.Carroll wrote an acrostic poem, which appeared in the back of Through the Looking-Glass, about Alice and that fateful trip down the Thames. The first letter in each line spells out "Alice Pleasance Liddell":
In the meantime, Dodgson had decided to rewrite the story as a possible commercial venture. Probably with a view to canvassing his opinion, Dodgson sent the manuscript of Under Ground to a friend, the author George MacDonald, in the spring of 1863 . The MacDonald children read the story and loved it, and this response probably persuaded Dodgson to seek a publisher. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with illustrations by John Tenniel, was published in 1865, under the pen name Lewis Carroll. A second "Alice" book, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, followed in 1871. In 1886, a facsimile of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, the original manuscript that Dodgson had given Alice, was published.
A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky
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.
Alice Pleasance Liddell as a young woman (Photo by Julia Margaret Cameron)
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?
Alice Pleasance Liddell Hargreaves in her older years.
Dreamchild (1985 film)
A scene from the Dennis Potter written 1985 film "Dreamchild" based on the book "Alice at 80". Alice Liddell Hargreaves is 80 years old and having flashbacks/hallucinations of her time spent with Reverend Charles Dodgson. The Mad Hatter & March Hare (Jim Henson puppets) are chatting with Coral Browne as elderly Alice & Amelia Shankley young Alice. Elements of "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" are combined in this Lewis Carroll inspired film.