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Lewis Carroll hated fame from Alice in Wonderland
HE wrote a classic tale based on the fantasy world of a New Forest girl.
But Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll once regretted he ever wrote the beloved children’s book, it has emerged.
His heroine was based on Alice Liddell, who lived for 50 years in New Forest village Lyndhurst, where she is now buried.
In a previously unseen letter to a friend, Mr Carroll, aka Charles Dodgson, said he felt “intense hate” at his fame, particularly when recognised by strangers.
He wrote: “All that sort of publicity leads to strangers hearing of my real name in connection with the books, and to my being pointed out to, and stared at by strangers, and treated as a “lion”.
“And I hate that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish I had never written any books at all.”
The letter was addressed to Anne Symonds, widow of Oxford surgeon Frederick Symonds, and was handwritten in Carroll’s rooms at Christ Church College, Oxford University, where he was a mathematics don.
It was dated November 1891, 26 years after Wonderland, and will go up for auction next month where it is expected to earn up to £4,000.
The letter will go up for auction on March 19 in London, along with some other notes and two photos taken by Carroll. The author was notoriously publicity shy and never gave interviews.
He was inspired to write Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There after meeting ten-year-old Alice during a boat trip on the River Thames.
When Alice died in 1934, her relatives asked that she be remembered as a devoted member of the community, and the residents of Lyndhurst respected that wish.
Her ashes were buried beside her husband, Reginald Hargreaves, at St Michael and All Angels Church. The village has embraced its link with the book, with The White Rabbit pub and Mad Hatter Tearooms named after Carroll’s characters.