A Conversation for Llandudno, North Wales, UK

Alice in Llandudno

Post 1

Froggy MacIntyre

I have visited Llandudno many times; it is a beautiful place and the Llandudnians are very hospitable. Conway Castle is nearby and worth a visit. One of the most aggressively promoted tourist traps in Llandudno is the Alice in Wonderland exhibit. This is worth a visit for die-hard Alice fans only. It consists of several extremely well-done diorama exhibits depicting scenes from 'Alice in Wonderland' only (none from 'Through the Looking-Glass') accompanied by a hired tape cassette (supplied with the price of admission) which provides a long slow boring narration of the illustrated scenes. Photography of the dioramas is forbidden, but nobody stopped me when I took several quick Polaroid snaps. The dioramas are well worth a look, but the tape narration is dead boring and pointless for anyone who has read the book.
Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired the original 'Alice' books, spent several summer holidays in Llandudno with her family during her childhood: her father, who was the Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford, owned a house in Llandudno. This is why the tourist board of Llandudno have created their Alice exhibit. Unfortunately, they have crowded their hand by making two totally untrue claims; #1: that Lewis Carroll, the author of 'Alice in Wonderland', spent many summers with Alice's family in their Llandudno house, and #2: that he actually wrote some portions of 'Alice in Wonderland' in Llandudno. These claims are false. Lewis Carroll visited Wales several times, but never with Alice, and there is no evidence that he ever visited Llandudno. Both of the Alice books were written in his rooms at Christ Church College. Lewis Carroll was a lowly maths professor, who was never an overnight guest of Dean Liddell and would not have expected to be one.
So, I recommend the Alice exhibit in Llandudno, but I resent that the tourist board are telling lies about its provenance.
By all means, visit Llandudno (and nearby Llandudno Junction), as well as Conway Castle, but don't give the Alice in Wonderland exhibit more than a quick walk-through.

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Alice in Llandudno

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