Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world (Wonderland) populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre, and its narrative course and structure have been enormously influential, especially in the fantasy genre.
It has been suggested by several people, including Martin Gardner and Selwyn Goodacre, that Dodgson had an interest in the French language, choosing to make references and puns about it in the story. It is most likely that these are references to French lessons—a common feature of a Victorian middle-class girl's upbringing. For example, in the second chapter Alice posits that the mouse may be French. She therefore chooses to speak the first sentence of her French lesson-book to it: Où est ma chatte? ( Where is my cat? ). In Henri Bué's French translation, Alice posits that the mouse may be Italian and speaks Italian to it.
When it was released Alice in Wonderland received little attention; the book failed to be named in an 1888 poll of the most popular children’s stories. Generally it received poor reviews with reviewers giving more credit to Tenniel's illustrations than to Carroll’s story. At the release of Through the Looking-Glass, the first Alice tale gained in popularity and by the end of the 19th century Sir Walter Besant wrote Alice in Wonderland was a book of that extremely rare kind which will belong to all the generations to come until the language becomes obsolete .
In 1865, Dodgson's tale was published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll with illustrations by John Tenniel. The first print run of 2,000 was held back because Tenniel objected to the print quality. A new edition, released in December of the same year, but carrying an 1866 date, was quickly printed. As it turned out, the original edition was sold with Dodgson's permission to the New York publishing house of Appleton. The binding for the Appleton Alice was virtually identical to the 1866 Macmillan Alice, except for the publisher's name at the foot of the spine. The title page of the Appleton Alice was an insert cancelling the original Macmillan title page of 1865, and bearing the New York publisher's imprint and the date 1866.