is Alice on the LsD trip of her Life when she fell down that rabbit hole?
The fairy tale might have stood the test of time but the true story behind Alice In Wonderland is, well, just a little bit creepy.Lewis Carroll was a pseudonym for Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who was born in England in 1832. When he reached 18, Dodgson left home to attend Oxford University, where he stayed for the next 20 years. He was a student and then a professor and a mathematician
When Henry George Liddell became the Dean of Christ Church at Oxford, Carroll became close with his three daughters – Lorna, Edith and Alice – and the legend of Alice began. In 1862 Carroll – along with one of his colleague took the 3 girls on a trip down the Thames
The shadow hanging over anyone reading the story is the issue of Carroll’s sexuality. A successful photographer, many of his surviving shots are of children, often semi-dressed or naked and the abrupt ending with having any contact with The 3 Liddell daughters, he did however he did maintain a relationship with the dean and his wife
Since the 1960’s there has been a trend for readers to identify an underlying drug theme in the book. The Cheshire Cat disappears leaving only the enigmatic grin behind.
Alice drinks potions and eats pieces of mushroom to change her physical state. The caterpillar smokes an elaborate water pipe. The whole atmosphere of the story is so profoundly disjointed from reality – surely drugs must have had an influence? After all this was the era of legal opium use.
Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 psychedelic anthem White Rabbit runs with the drug theme.
The mushroom is “magic” only in the context of the story. And the caterpillar is merely smoking tobacco through a hookah.
“When the men on the chessboard get up / And tell you where to go / And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom / And your mind is moving low / Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know.”