Daily mythology: Llandudno

llandudno

It is the largest and best loved sea-side resort in Wales, opening in the north of the country to the Irish Sea. The beach extends in between the Little Orme and the Great Orme. The latter shows the church of patron saint St. Dudno. He is said to be the son of a King, whose realm was flooded by the sea (for sure because that sinner loved alcohol and hedonist life). After that St. Doudno lived in a cave high upon the sea – which makes him, in my opinion, to a follower of St.Kevin of Ireland, but who will prove this? – and later – 6th century – he had a church built in his honour. In the 12th century the church was reneved and is still to be seen.

A huge graveyard covers the rest of Great Orme, until the 20th century the people of Llandudno burried their dead there. For the funeral the tramways of the town had three special wagons to get there, 1, 2 and 3.

In the 19th century a British family, the Liddells, regularly spent their holidays in Llandudno. For sure they went by tram too, but of course not with the wagons 1, 2 or 3. (No, they didn’t, the tram was only built in 1902)

The Liddell-family came from Oxford. The father was a dean there, along the customs the couple Lidell had several (6 or 7?) children. One of these was Alice Lidell.

In Oxford the Liddells made the aquaintance of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. This man, a photographer, went to be a close friend of the kids and rather often took them to picnics or excursions. On one of those trips – by boat – Alice and two other sisters asked to have a story. Charles told them the story of Alice in Wonderland, taking Alice Liddell as the heroine of that, shall we say, fairytale?

Soon after Charles Lutwige Dodgson took the artist name Lewis Caroll and published that story. It went to be a huge success. Even nowadays nearly everbody knows “Alice in Wonderland”, some the following sequel  “Behind the looking glass”. Apparently children’s books these stories are holding deep secrets.

If you happen to travel by time-machine, go to Llandudno in a summer around 1850-60, you might meet with Alice Liddell, the role model for Alice in Wonderland.

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