December 21, 2010
December 21, 2010
Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole–and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.
But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?
Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year–the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.
That story, a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child, becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice–he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war.
For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.
A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.
From the Hardcover edition.
In her zealous debut novel, Melanie Benjamin examines the curious life of Alice Liddell, who was immortalized as the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's classic ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND. As the elderly Alice looks back on her life, she finds that it pivots around a seemingly idyllic summer day in 1862, when family friend Charles Dodgson (Carroll's real name) entertained her with a wild tale about a young girl named Alice who fell into a very special rabbit hole. Unfortunately, the story's eventual popularity caused Victorian society to cast a disparaging eye on Dodgson's relationship with the young girl, scarring her with a scandal she would never escape. Alice recalls that her undeserved reputation ruined a possible romance with Prince Leopold, which in turn led to her marriage to an aristocrat named Reginald Hargreaves, producing three sons who served in World War I. Though she initially remains bitter at having had the details of her life dictated by imaginary associations, Alice eventually realizes that her pain will not recede until she makes peace with her unique place in history.
- Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Subgenre: Types of Characters, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Historical Fiction, War + Military, Family + Friendship
- Edition: Reprint
- Language: English
- Author: Melanie Benjamin
- Online Item #: 13104372
- Store Item Number (DPCI): 059-04-3449
- ISBN: 9780385344142
- Item can be gift wrapped.
- Made in the USA or Imported