Lewis Carroll is a pen-name: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was the author’s real name and he was lecturer in Mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford. Dodgson began the story on 4 July 1862, when he took a journey in a rowing boat on the river Isis (Thames) in Oxford together with the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, with Alice Liddell (ten years of age) the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, and with her two sisters, Lorina (thirteen years of age), and Edith (eight years of age). As is clear from the poem at the beginning of the book, the three girls asked Dodgson for a story and reluctantly at first he began to tell the first version of the story to them. There are many half-hidden references made to the five of them throughout the text of the book itself, which was published finally in 1865.
In 2003 when I published Eachtraí Eilíse i dTír na nIontas, Nicholas Williams’ splendid Irish translation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I had no idea how large a part Alice and her world would come to play in my life and work. As of this writing, I have published this book in over 50 languages, together with Through the Looking-Glass, The Hunting of the Snark, and many volumes of sequels, parodies, and works inspired by Alice.
The text for this edition makes some alterations to Lewis Carroll’s final revised text in order to correct some inconsistencies which remained, or which appear to have been introduced, by Carroll in 1897. In the Evertype definitive text1 I have aimed to establish (or re-establish) clarity and consistency where it was lacking, while conserving the idiosyncrasies of Carroll’s writing which have delighted readers for a century and a half.
I am delighted to publish this edition of Alice with Harry Furniss’s illustrations, the originals for which were provided to me for scanning by Allan William Parkes, to whom I am most grateful. My thanks are also due to Selwyn Goodacre and to Edward Wakeling for having given their permission to reprint an updated version of their 1999 article as the introduction to this book.
Portlaoise, January 2016