Books: One Golden Afternoon

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Few days have ever proved as richly, fortuitously frabjous as the beamish afternoon of July 4, 1862. It was a century ago this week, between lunch and brillig, that the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and a friend rowed three small sisters up the River Isis and came upon Wonderland.

A quarter-century later, Lewis Carroll, as the world by then called Dodgson, still remembered "that golden afternoon almost as clearly as if it were yesterday and the three eager faces, hungry for news of fairy-land." There had been many such outings, and many other reports from fairyland for ten-year-old...

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