Lewis Carroll, the pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was tutor in Mathematics in Christ Church, Oxford. He took a trip on 4 July 1862 in a rowing boat on the Thames in Oxford with the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church (she was ten years old), and with her two sisters, Lorina (thirteen), and Edith (eight). The three sisters asked Dodgson to tell them a story, and, reluctantly at first, he related the earliest version of this tale to them.
In 1865 the story in its finished form was published as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Two years before that, however, on 26 November 1864, Dodgson gave Alice the handwritten manuscript of Alice’s Adventures under Ground, illustrated by Dodgson himself. At Christmas 1886 a facsimile edition of the manuscript was published. Several further facsimile editions have since appeared, and in them all, Dodgson’s careful handwriting can be seen.
This edition sets the text in type, thus making it easier to read than in facsimile. It is certainly well worth reading, although it is shorter than the final form of the story—Alice’s Adventures under Ground is just over 15,500 words in length, whereas Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is nearly twice as long, containing about 27,500 words. Here, as in my other editions of Alice books, I have kept to the book design inspired by Martin Gardiner’s Annotated Alice. Since this is a typeset edition, capital letters are used regularly at the beginning of quoted speech even though they are often omitted in the manuscript; some other punctuation has been normalized. Many of these changes are also found in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
This edition also contains Carroll’s introductory essay “Who will Riddle me the How and the Why?” and, as appendices, his “Easter Greetings” and “Christmas Greetings” to children. These were also published in the 1868 printed edition.
In the original manuscript, a photograph of Alice Liddell had been pasted in at the end of the story. It was discovered recently that beneath this photograph was a portrait of Alice, drawn by Lewis Carroll himself. Both photograph and hand-drawn picture are reproduced here opposite each other on pages 63 and 64.
I would like to thank Jason Isbell and Sankar Viswanathan for the careful work which they and their Distributed Proofreaders team did to prepare what became the source files for this volume.
Westport, 26 November 2009