Crime against Innocence

Alicia Rix

Abstract


Gaynor Arnold’s fictional interpretation of the relationship between Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell (the ‘real-life’ heroine of the Wonderland books) takes its title from a cruel piece of Through the Looking-Glass (1871) whimsy. The Walrus and the Carpenter lure juvenile oysters away from their beds promising a stroll, and, having eaten them all, weep lustily over their empty shells; Alice pronouncing them ‘both very unpleasant characters’. Arnold’s own foray into Victorian melodrama likewise concerns a crime against innocence in whose aftermath, like Alice, the reader is obliged to select the most culpable predator from an eccentric and unsympathetic array of creatures.


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