On 4 July 1862, in a rowing boat travelling on the Isis from Folly Bridge, Oxford to Godstow, 10-year-old Alice asked Charles Dodgson (who wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll) to entertain her and her sisters with a story. 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 told the sisters before, but this time Liddell asked Mr. Dodgson to write it down for her. He eventually presented her with the manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground in November 1864.
In the meantime, Dodgson had decided to rewrite the story and as a result Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published in 1865, under the name Lewis Carroll. A second book about the character Alice, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, followed in 1871.
Llandudno was the holiday destination resort of Alice and her family, the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll and for whom he based his worldwide famous stories on. They first came to the resort in 1861 when she was 8 and stayed at the Tudno Villa Apartments now, the St Tudno Hotel on Llandudno’s North Shore.
They loved the area so much they went on to build a holiday home - Penmorfa, on the town's West Shore and was later developed into a popular hotel with its famous background.
Many believe that it was Alice’s adventures whilst on holiday in Llandudno, later recounted to Lewis Carroll that influenced him when he first made up the story told to Alice and her sisters, whilst on a rowing trip. Lewis Carroll originally titled the story “Alice’s adventures underground” which he later published into the all-time favourite classic “Alice in Wonderland”. It is also said, that Llandudno is also part of the inspiration behind the sequel “ “Through the Looking Glass”
Did you know?
- The Walrus and the Carpenter, who both feature in the book Through the Looking glass are two big rocks that sit prominently on Llandudno’s West Shore!
- Every spring Llandudno hosts its' own Miss Alice competition for girls 8 to 10 years old.
- Staff at The St Georges Hotel believe the ghost of Alice Liddell haunts their 4th floor.
- The Alice Town Trails were launched by the town of Llandudno in 2015 in line with the worldwide celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the classic Books.