Administered by:
University of Cambridge
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a young girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. Its narrative course, structure, characters, and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.

The journey began at Folly Bridge near Oxford and ended five miles away in the village of Godstow. During the trip Charles Dodgson told the girls a story that featured a bored little girl named Alice who goes looking for an adventure. The girls loved it, and Alice Liddell asked Dodgson to write it down for her. He began writing the manuscript of the story the next day, although that earliest version no longer exists. The girls and Dodgson took another boat trip a month later when he elaborated the plot to the story of Alice, and in November he began working on the manuscript in earnest.

The book Alice in Wonderland failed to be named in an 1888 poll of the most popular children's stories. Generally it received poor reviews with reviewers giving more credit to Tenniel's illustrations than to Carroll's story. At the release of Through the Looking-Glass, the first Alice tale gained in popularity and by the end of the 19th century Sir Walter Besant wrote that Alice in Wonderland "was a book of that extremely rare kind which will belong to all the generations to come until the language becomes obsolete".

As the book and its sequel are Carroll's most widely recognised works, they have also inspired numerous live performances, including plays, operas, ballets, and traditional English pantomimes. These works range from fairly faithful adaptations to those that use the story as a basis for new works. An example of the latter is The Eighth Square, a murder mystery set in Wonderland, written by Matthew Fleming and music and lyrics by Ben J. Macpherson. This goth-toned rock musical premiered in 2006 at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth, England. The TA Fantastika, a popular Black light theatre in Prague performs "Aspects of Alice"; written and directed by Petr Kratochvil. This adaptation is not faithful to the books, but rather explores Alice's journey into adulthood while incorporating allusions to the history of Czech Republic.

Similarly, the 1992 operatic production Alice used both Alice books as its inspiration. It also employs scenes with Charles Dodgson, a young Alice Liddell, and an adult Alice Liddell, to frame the story. Paul Schmidt wrote the play, with Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan writing the music. Although the original production in Hamburg, Germany, received only a small audience, Tom Waits released the songs as the album Alice in 2002.

Alice and the rest of Wonderland continue to inspire or influence many other works of art to this day, sometimes indirectly via the 1951 Disney movie, for example. References, homages, reworkings and derivative works can be found in many works of literature, film, theatre, visual art, music, and games. The character of the plucky, yet proper, Alice has proven immensely popular and inspired similar heroines in literature and pop culture, many also named Alice in homage.