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Enduring Endearing Nonsense of Fairy Tales Did you read and enjoy Lewis Carrolls Alice in Wonderland books as a child Or better still did you have someone read them to you Perhaps you discovered them as an adult or forbid the thought maybe you havent discovered them at all Those who have journeyed Through the Looking Glass generally love or shun the tales for their unparalleled sense of nonsense Public interest in the books--from the time they were published more than a century ago--has almost been matched by curiosity about their author Many readers are surprised to learn that the Mad Hatter the Cheshire Cat and a host of other absurd and captivating creatures sprung from the mind of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson a shy stammering Oxford mathematics professor Dodgson was a deacon in his church an inventor and a noted childrens photographer Wonderland and thus the seeds of his unanticipated success as a writer appeared quite casually one day as he spun an impromptu tale to amuse the daughters of a colleague during a picnic One of these girls was Alice Liddell who insisted that he write the story down for her and who served as the model for the heroine Dodgson eventually sought to publish the first book on the advice of friends who had read and loved the little handwritten manuscript he had given to Alice Liddell He expanded the story considerably and engaged the services of John Tenniel one of the best known artists in England to provide illustrations Alices Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through The Looking Glass were enthusiastically received in their own time and have since become landmarks in childrens literature What makes these nonsense tales so durable Aside from the immediate appeal of the characters their colourful language and the sometimes hilarious verse Twas brillig and the slithy tovesdid gyre and
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