Meeting Melanie Benjamin, author of “Alice I Have Been”

As I child I loved watching Disney’s, “Alice in Wonderland.” I was quite fascinated by the characters Alice meets on her journey. Eventually I read, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. Little did I realize as I read this delightful tale there actually had been a real life Alice whom Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) based his story on.

Recently I was fortunate enough to attend Melanie Benjamin’s book signing and launch party in January at Anderson’s Book Shop, in Naperville, IL. Her new novel, Alice I Have Been, is the fictional account of Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life and her encounter with Charles Dodgson – aka – Lewis Carroll. At Oxford, Alice’s father was the Dean of Christ Church.  Alice and her family were friends of Charles Dodgson who was a professor there. Dodgson spent time with Alice and her two sisters and told them many stories. One in particular, Alice asked him to write about. It was of a young girl falling down a rabbit hole. For unknown reasons, the Liddell family abruptly broke off their association with Dodgson. There is no available information concerning what happened. For Benjamin, this was her chance to write what she thinks happened, as she says, Alice I Have Been, is Alice’s story.

Benjamin’s words transported me back in time to Alice’s world. She has spun a superb tale. Alice, at the age of 11, wanted Dodgson to write the Alice story because she would then be forever young. Do we all secretly wish the same – our youth? I was brought to tears as Alice, as an older woman, reflected on her life. It made me stop to reflect as well. Alice I Have Been is a treasure waiting to be open and enjoyed! I now am re-reading, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to discover a bit of Alice!

Coincidentally the new, “Alice in Wonderland,” movie starring Johnny Depp, will be released on March 5, 2010. I think I’ll be seeing it as well!

One of my favorite things to do is meet authors. I recently had an opportunity to meet Melanie Benjamin, author, Alice I Have Been. Thank you to Barb Rozgonyi (@wiredprworks) for making this a great experience (and for the pictures)!

Melanie and I

Melanie, Barbara and I



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3 responses to “Meeting Melanie Benjamin, author of “Alice I Have Been”

  1. Hi Kathleen! So fun seeing you in Naperville and glad you liked the pictures. Hearing Melanie read aloud brought Alice’s story to life for me. Hope to see you back in the Chicago area soon! Barbara @wiredprworks

  2. We discuss the factual accuracy – or lack of it – in Ms B’s book at Contrariwise the Blog:

  3. Pingback: Pump Up Your Book — August Virtual Book Tour–The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb! | Marianslibrary's Blog

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