Alice Pleasance Liddell and Adoption

Alice, age 7. Photo by Lewis Carroll


1852 - 1934

Also known as Alice Liddell Hargreaves

Lewis Carroll’s inspiration

According to the author of a book published in 2004 (The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor), Alice Liddell, the little girl to whom Lewis Carroll first told the stories of Alice Through the Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland, and the inspiration for the character Alice, was an adoptee. He claims to have met someone who had a copy of her original birth certificate which proves the assertion. The same source, a London bookseller, also claimed that Wonderland is a real place, that Alice first told the story to Carroll, not the other way around, and that Carroll stole the idea, rewrote it, and passed it off as his own.

Under those circumstances, and a lack of corroboration from other sources, I can only include her in this list as a possible adoptee, and probably a red herring. [Last updated: 12 SEP 2004]


Saunders, Emma. “Walking in a Modern Wonderland.” Available at: [Last visited: 12 September 2004] Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) © Roger Ridley Fenton