The real Alice in Wonderland as my mother remembers her


I love this picture of Alice and my mother. My mother is just three and she looks so happy twirling around on Alice’s knee.

My mother was Alice’s only granddaughter: Alice’s other two sons died in WW1, leaving only Caryl. Caryl married late and had only one daughter – my mother.

Alice loved having her to stay. Her letters talk of “the child” in glowing terms and Alice spoiled her by having her up on her knee and feeding her sugar.

My mother remembers an old lady in black whose chickens she chased into bushes.

But Alice disapproved of Caryl’s wife: she was a widow with two grown-up children. Alice thought she should not have married again. And she was jealous – by this time Alice was a widow too and Caryl had looked after her for years. My mother remembers him choosing her a  Rolls Royce for the massive sum of £500! Alice was not keen to let him go to the arms of another woman.

So Caryl didn’t bring my mother to see Alice as often as he would have otherwise. All of which made her visits sweeter.