What happened before Alice fell down the rabbit hole?
Oxford, 1862. As Mary Prickett takes up her post as governess to the daughters of the Dean of Christ Church, she is thrust into a strange new world. Mary is poor and plain and desperate for change but the little girls in her care see and understand far more than their naive new teacher. And there is another problem: Mary does not like children, especially the precocious Alice Liddell. When Mary meets Charles Dodgson, the Christ Church mathematics tutor, at a party at the Deanery, she wonders if he may be the person to transform her life. Flattered by his attentions, Mary begins to believe that she could be more than just an overlooked, dowdy governess. One sunny day, as Mary chaperones the Liddells on a punting trip, Mr. Dodgson tells the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. But Mary is determined to become Mr Dodgson's muse—and will turn all the lives around her topsy-turvy in pursuit of her obsession.
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Vanessa Tait is the great-granddaughter of Alice Liddell, the little girl who inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The Looking Glass House is her first novel, inspired by family treasures and stories of the 'original' Alice.Review:
As Alice Liddell's great-granddaughter, Vanessa Tait's insider information and access to letters and diaries give the familiar back-story a new slant. Her captivating book conjures up the topsy-turvy world of Alice - the factual and the fictional girl. It is a story that is both whimsical and disturbing. -- Lyndsy Spence Lady Tait's engaging novel peeps behind Carroll's story...Her style is sensuous and lyrical, her story neatly infused with Wonderland imagery and historically accurate dialogue... This story isn't about Alice. It runs, White Rabbit-like, away from childhood towards a more grown-up reflection on one of the greatest children's books. -- Rachel Hoyes Sunday Telegraph Moving and original. -- Kate Saunders The Times
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