....Alice Liddell's mother, that is. Those who have read my book will know that I am not certain that Alice Liddell WAS the "real" Alice of Dodgson's story, but never mind....

Here's the story.

When the Earl of Warwick & Brooke was an undergraduate at Christ Church in the 1870s, (and of course he wasn't the Earl then - just an immature, cheerful, idiotic teenager with loads of money) - he went to a ball at University College. Like Cinderella, the Christ Church undergraduates were obliged to leave by midnight unless they had permission to stay out later. If they came back after midnight, they'd find the gates locked, and they would get into trouble. Many of them would try to climb in over the walls, which also got them into trouble. If they got into really bad trouble and disobeyed college rules too much, they'd get thrown out.

The Earl-to-be, who sounds something of an airhead, had not thought to get permission to stay late. Mrs. Liddell was also at the ball, and when she heard of his predicament, she was very sympathetic. So when she left the ball with her daughters at 4 a.m., the young man shared her carriage, but since he was not supposed to be there, he spent the trip crouching inside the carriage, concealed by the enormous skirts of Mrs. L and her daughters. Once inside the gates, she secretly let him loose.

Naughty boy - and rather naughty Mrs. Liddell, considering that she was the Dean's wife and should have been upholding the rules.

Mind you, this is what the Earl was heir to - so perhaps she thought she might as well get into his good books while she could.