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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Museum first for Alice pictures
Edith, Ina and Alice Liddell
Edith, Ina and Alice Liddell pose for Lewis Carroll

Rare photographs taken by children's author Lewis Carroll have gone on display in Wales for the first time since they were saved for the nation.

Images of Alice Liddell - believed to be the inspiration behind the classic Alice in Wonderland - were sold for 600,000 to collectors from the US last June.

However, they were saved when the UK government imposed a temporary ban preventing them from being taken out of the country.

The photos were subsequently bought by a consortium of British museums and are now on show until the end of June at Bodelwyddan Castle in Denbighshire.

Public interest

The museums received a 471,000 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to buy the historic prints.

That amount was supplemented by public donations and a 100,000 grant from an independent art charity.

Kelly Bagley from Bodelwyddan Castle said staff expect the18 prints on show to create a lot of interest.

"We're really excited because the Alice pictures have been saved for the nation," she said.

Alice Liddell aged 18
Alice posed for the children's author aged 18

"They are of Alice and her sisters and there's one from when she was 18 when the family still had a relationship with Lewis Carroll."

Carroll, real name Charles Dodgson, is believed to have first created his fictional character on a river expedition with the three Liddell sisters in Oxford in 1862.

It was announced in March 2001 that a collection of books, photographs and papers belonging to the young girl who inspired Alice in Wonderland were to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London.

The archive was collated by Alice Pleasance (nee Liddell), who at seven years old was befriended by Lewis Carroll.

In total the archive raised more than 2m at auction.

Welsh connection

The famous writer went on to write the fantasy Alice In Wonderland, citing the young Alice as his muse.

Alice Liddell has had a long association with north Wales and the seaside resort of Llandudno in particular.

Eirian Edwards from Conwy County Borough Council said the link has become quite a tourist attraction.

"It is believed that Alice Liddell came on holiday with her family to Llandudno and on occasion Charles Dodgson came with them," she said.

A museum has been set up in the seaside town to mark the association between the Victorian novel and Llandudno.

A spokeswoman from the Alice in Wonderland Centre said there is no evidence that Lewis Carroll visited Llandudno with the family.

"We've got letters from one of Alice's sisters saying that as far as they know Lewis Carroll never came with them on a family holiday," she said.

The Liddell family owned a holiday home on Llandudno's West Shore where they spent their breaks together.

The house has since been turned into the Gogarth Abbey Hotel.

The exhibition at Bodelwyddan Castle will end on 30 June and move to Cambridge.




SEE ALSO:
Alice: Through a looking-glass darkly
30 Nov 01  |  Newsmakers
'Alice' author exposed
31 Oct 01  |  Entertainment
Decision time for Alice photos
27 May 02  |  Entertainment
'Alice' sale tops 2m
07 Jun 01  |  Entertainment


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