Did Queen Victoria write Alice in Wonderland?
Yes, you read that correctly. There are some people who firmly believe that Alice in Wonderland wasn’t the work of Lewis Carroll but that of the recently widowed Queen Victoria.
Her beloved husband Albert had died in December of 1861 and proponents of the theory believe that writing the book was a comfort to her.
But what about Lewis Carroll?
It’s generally supposed that on July 4th, 1862, Carroll took Alice Lydell and her sisters out for the day in Oxford. This being, according to Carroll, a sunny and fine day they rowed on the river and picniced.
It was during this outing that Carroll improvised the story of Alice and her adventures in Wonderland, to entertain the girls.
But according to those who disbelieve this, the weather was dull and it rained all day making a rowing trip and picnic quite impossible.
Carroll’s friend, Canon Duckworth, was also present for the outing. He, Carroll and Alice in later life all wrote about the day as being one of glorious weather. But the theorists say it wasn’t.
Note too that Duckworth says that the telling of the story took place on the river when they were in the boat but Alice is adamant it was at the picnic.
What they also point out is that Victoria’s daughter Alice was married three days before the supposed outing.
But how do they explain the fact that a manuscript exists in Carroll’s handwriting? No problem, they say. Carroll was at university with Victoria’s son,the Prince of Wales, and he – they say – acted as intermediary.
They say that the story is an allegory of Victoria’s early life. The White Rabbit is supposedly symbolic of Victoria’s father and the Duchess, her mother. Various characters are different aspects of Victoria as a child and teenager.
Those who believe this theory even had the book checked out by a computer comparing it to Carroll’s work and to Queen Victoria’s writings and letters. This,they say,proves it beyond doubt.
Do I believe that Queen Victoria wrote Alice in Wonderland?
No, to be honest. But I do like a good conspiracy theory 🙂
What it does though, is give another dimension to the re-reading of the book.
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