Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 16 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

BONUS: This edition contains an Alice I Have Been discussion guide and an excerpt from Melanie Benjamin's The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.

Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole–and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.


But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?

Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year–the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.

That story, a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child, becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice–he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war. 

For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.

A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.
 

About Melanie Benjamin

See more books from this Author
Melanie Benjamin is a pseudonym for Melanie Hauser, the author of two contemporary novels. Her first work of historical fiction as Melanie Benjamin was Alice I Have Been. She lives in Chicago, where she is at work on her next historical novel.
 
Published January 1, 2009 by Delacorte Press. 368 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Alice I Have Been

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

She grows to maturity in Oxford’s culturally privileged enclave, is wooed by Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Leopold (barred from marrying her in part because of the unspoken, lingering scandal concerning Dodgson), then finally marries and bears three boys, two of them killed in World War I.

| Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Benjamin draws on one of the most enduring relationships in children’s literature in her excellent debut, spinning out the heartbreaking story of Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland .

Oct 12 2009 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

NPR

See more reviews from this publication

Alice, from Alice In Wonderland, is one of literature's most beloved heroines for restless girl readers and feminist scholars. The new book Alice I Have Been tells the story of Alice Liddell, the child muse for Lewis Carroll's character.

Jan 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Examiner

The story of the mesmerizing effect of little Alice Liddell on Lewis Carroll is forever immortalized in his classic works Alice in Wonderland, and Alice Through The Looking Glass.

Jan 04 2010 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Examiner

Benjamin's fine research on the story of Alice Lidell, and how she has woven what is known of the real Alice story, with a suspenseful, and heartwrenching work of fiction.This novel will reconnect the reader to a story we all heard of when we read about, and read Alice in Wonderland.

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Examiner

Alice may have been immortalized as a girl, but, as Benjamin imagines, she grew up to be a great woman.” -New York Post Peter Llewelyn Davies, Christopher Robin Milne, Alice Liddell Hargreaves, names of real people who are forever remembered on paper in the stories of Peter Pan, The Adventures ...

Sep 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

New York Journal of Books

See more reviews from this publication

She was, like her mother: rigidly proper and ladylike—even when her husband’s estate fell to ruin and was about to be foreclosed upon, forcing her to sell her handwritten manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Underground, illustrated by Dodgeson and presented to the young Alice Liddell by post after t...

Jan 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Book Reporter

The supposedly innocent yet slightly lurid moments when Dodgson photographs the girls --- especially the time he snaps a barefooted Alice in a tattered gypsy dress --- hint at Dodgson’s creepy, possibly pedophilic tendencies (although, in truth, the real Dodgson photographed other subjects includ...

Jan 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

There are few sweeter novels about barely repressed pedophilia than Melanie Benjamin’s new Victorian historical novel, Alice I Have Been.

Feb 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Return to EW.com home Today's Most Popular PopWatch Super Bowl 2013: Best and Worst Commercials ...

Jan 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Dallas News

Think of Alice in Wonderland, and you probably see a pinafored little girl with long, pale hair, the image from Sir John Tenniel's classic illustrations.

Mar 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Denver Post

And then came the magical adventure story by the Oxford mathematician who wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll: "Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do .

Jan 31 2010 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Gather Books

Up until Alice I Have Been appeared on the horizon, I had no idea that there really was a girl named Alice and that Lewis Carroll (Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) had known her in real life before he decided to write Alice's Adventures in Wonderland .

Dec 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Samantha Eggar is a consummate actor, and the character of Alice Liddell Hargreaves, from girlhood into old age, is a great vehicle for her talents.

| Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Culture Mob

Melanie Benjamin’s bestselling historical novel, Alice I Have Been, offers to take us back up the rabbit hole of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, and into the world of the real life inspiration behind the enduring classic.

Jan 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

SBY Teens

Fans of Lewis Carroll’s work will find new insight into Alice after reading Alice I Have Been.

Feb 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Alice I Have Been: A Novel

Reader Rating for Alice I Have Been
77%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 315 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×