• All in the Golden Afternoon
  • Lewis Carroll

My reading of Lewis Carroll’s ‘All in the golden afternoon’, the poem at the start of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It recalls the famous riverboat excursion down the Isis in July 1862, when the ‘tale of Wonderland’ was first told to the Liddell sisters. It is worth noting that the three girls mentioned in the poem, Prima, Secunda and Tertia, are in fact Lorina, Alice and Edith Liddell respectively. There is a kind of haunting, even melancholic nostalgia to the poem, suggested by the beautiful final stanza:

Alice! a childish story take,
And with a gentle hand
Lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined
In Memory’s mystic band,
Like pilgrim’s withered wreath of flowers
Plucked in a far-off land.