Wednesday, 4 May 2011

All in the Golden Afternoon . . .

My Dear Friends

I hope you will join with me in my now customary celebration of the birth, some 159 years ago, of a sweet child who was the subject of the first book I ever read and has remained with me as a constant companion throughout the intervening years.

I refer, of course, to the delightful Alice Liddell, daughter of Dean Henry Liddell, sister to Lorina and Edith and muse to the Dodo himself, Charles Dodgson.

I first encountered her when I was around 5 years old (and she was a mere century or so) in a book given to me by the legendary Great Aunt Florence which contained illustrations by a chap called Harry Rowntree who, as you can see from the illustration to the right, stayed much closer to the original than the awful Disney abomination of later years, though she does look a little more Flapper than Victorian!

Nonetheless, the story was, as I say, the first I read and completely took my breath away; I can't tell you the number of times I have read it or quoted it but it has been a constant part of my life ever since.

This "child of the pure, unclouded brow and dreaming eyes of wonder" died in 1934 as Mrs Reginald Hargreaves having some years earlier sold the original manuscript of the work that immortalised her for the (then) princely sum of £15,400!

However, for your edification and enjoyment, and at considerably less cost than that I am happy to reproduce for you the last page of the original work below . . .

I hope you have a lovely day and remember in your thoughts a least for a little while this dear girl from across the years

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

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