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Image of a ClockThe Timeline of Interpretation

“Which goes to prove, one supposes, that Alice is what you make of her.”
– Robert Phillips


This timeline is meant to give you a sense of how Alice interpretations have changed over time, visually showing the trends in Alice criticism, as well as supplementing them with some prominent “Alice” events.  The major events of the different critical approaches are shown in different colors to visually represent the "evolution" of Alice intepretation. As you will see the Psychoanalytic approach dominated the first half of the twentieth century. The biographical approach and psychedelic interpretation were popular in the ‘60s, which also saw an increased interest in the question of genre.  Feminist criticism and more questions of genre dominated that ‘70s and the ‘80s and recent scholarship has been all over the place, incorporating the work of the old critics and forging some new paths, especially in the area of Alice in the popular culture.


The Key

Psychoanalytic Interpretation
Biographical Interpretation
Psychedelic Interpretation

Genre Studies
Feminist Interpretation
Reader Response Criticism


The Timeline

1832 – Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) is born.

1862 – Dodgson tells Alice Liddell the story of a young girl who falls down a Rabbit Hole and has all sorts of adventures.

1864 – Dodgson presents “Alice’s Adventures Underground” as a Christmas gift to Alice Liddell.

1865 – First printed edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

1871 – Dodgson publishes Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to his first Alice book.

1886 – The first theatrical version of Alice is performed

1898 – Charles Dodgson dies.

1899Sigmund Freud publishes his book The Interpretation of Dreams


1903 – The first Alice film is produced

1907 – The text of Alice in Wonderland enters the Public Domain

1933A. M. E. Goldschmidt publishes his article “Alice in Wonderland Psychoanalyzed”, ushering in the wave of psychoanalytic interpretations.

1935William Empson publishes his influential article “The Child as Swain”

1938 Paul Schilder’s “Psychoanalytic Remarks on Alice in Wonderland” is published.

1939Virginia Woolf writes her article “Lewis Carroll.”

1951 – Disney’s film is released

1955Phyllis Greenacre’s “Reconstruction and Interpretation of the Development of Charles L. Dodgson and Lewis Carroll” is published.

1960Roger Lancelyn Green writes  “Alice.”

Marin Gardner publishes his first version of “The Annotated Alice”

1964 Elsie Leach writes “Alice in Wonderland in Perspective”

1965 George Pitcher’s article “Wittgenstein, Nonsense, and Lewis Carroll” is published.

1967Jefferson Airplane releases “White Rabbit”

1968 Thomas Fensch publishes his article “Lewis Carroll—The First Acidhead”

1969 – Salvador Dali creates his series of Alice prints.

1976 Judith Little writes “Liberated Alice: Dodgson’s Female Hero as Domestic Rebel”

Francis Huxley writes The Raven and the Writing Desk.

1983Phyllis Stowell’s article “We’re All Mad Here” is published.

1984 Helena Pycior’s “At the Intersection of Mathematics and Humor: Lewis Carroll's ‘Alices’ and Symbolical Algebra” is published.

1985 Humphrey Carpenter’s book Secret Gardens: A Study of the Golden Age of Children’s Literature is published.

Kathleen Blake’s book Play, Games, and Sport: The Literary Works of Lewis Carroll is published.

Gillian Adams publishes her article "Student Responses to Alice in Wonderland and At the Back of the North Wind."

1988 Wim Tiggs writes An Anatomy of Literary Nonsense.


2000 – "American McGee’s Alice," an Alice video game, is released.

2002 – An “Alice in Wonderland” article is created on Wikipedia.

2008Carina Garland’s article "Curious Appetites: Food, Desire, Gender and Subjectivity in Lewis Carroll's Alice Texts" is published.

2009Helen Pilinovsky’s “Body as Wonderland: Alice’s Graphic Iteration in Lost Girls” is published

2010 – Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland film is released.

Megan S. Lloyd writes “Unruly Alice: A Feminist View of Some Adventures in Wonderland.”

Scott Parker publishes his article “How Deep Does the Rabbit-Hole Go?  Drugs and Dreams, Perception and Reality”

George A Dunn and Brian McDonald write their article “Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast.”

2011Lauren Millikan’s website “Curiouser and Curiouser: the Evolution of Wonderland” is launched.



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