Alices Adventures in Wonderland, the work for which Lewis Carroll is best remembered, grew out of a river outing by Carroll, his friend Robinson Duckworth, and the three young daughters of Dean Liddell - Lorina, Alice and Edith. Carroll first told the girls the story of Alice during that memorable day, 4 July 1862, and, upon their urging, expanded it into a manuscript version shortly thereafter. In November 1864 he presented his manuscript tale, "Alices Adventures Under Ground," to Alice Liddell.
Carroll was already at work preparing Alice for publication. Obtaining the services of one of Britains foremost caricaturists and illustrators, Sir John Tenniel, Carroll presented the finished manuscript to Macmillan in early 1865. At Tenniels urging the first printing with the title-page date of 1865 was scrapped by Carroll, and the first truly published Alices Adventures in Wonderland is dated 1866.
Alice was an immediate success, with 20,000 copies printed by 1870, and 100,000 by 1884. The magic world of Alice, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat quickly became as much a part of English literature as Shakespeare and Dickens. A sequel, Through the Looking Glass, also illustrated by Tenniel, appeared in 1872.
In June 1865, Lewis Carroll had fifty copies of Alices Adventures in Wonderland bound up for presentation to family and friends. Shortly afterward the illustrator, John Tenniel, complained to Carroll that he was "entirely dissatisfied with the printing of the pictures." The author gave in to Tenniels request that the issue be suppressed. Carroll then attempted to recover the presentation copies, promising to replace them. All but perhaps fifteen copies were returned to Carroll, who then removed the presentation inscriptions and donated the books to childrens hospitals.