What’s the link between Alice and Disraeli?

John Tenniel picture of a tea party

This Christmas Hughenden explores the wacky world created by Lewis Carroll in his famous books about Alice's adventures. Here we explain the link between his works of fiction and Hughenden's famous Victorian resident, Benjamin Disraeli.

John Tenniel picture of a lion and unicorn

Lewis Carroll originally illustrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland himself, but with limited artist ability he was persuaded to seek a professional illustrator. A regular reader of Punch magazine, he approached one of Punch’s' most famous illustrators John Tenniel.

Tenniel regularly caricatured Disraeli in the magazine; the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland shows a striking similarity to his illustrations of Disraeli. The Lion and the Unicorn characters that appear in the second of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, Through the Looking Glass were widely interpreted as representations of the quarrelling politicians Disraeli and Gladstone. 

A new exhibition inside the manor at Hughenden, explores this and displays some of Disraeli and Gladstone’s Punch images which were produced by Tenniel, why not come and see!