Thirty-year-old Charles Lutwidge Dodgson made up the story one day while picnicking with Alice Liddell and her two sisters, the children of one of Dodgson’s colleagues. According to History.com, Dodgson, the son of a country parson, was a mathematician and liked wordplay since childhood, when he enjoyed making up games. However, he suffered from a severe stammer, except when he spoke with children.
He had many young friends who enjoyed his fantastic stories, and the Liddell children thought his tale of a girl who falls down a rabbit hole was one of his best efforts. Alice insisted he write it down. He sent the handwritten manuscript, titled “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground,” to her as a Christmas gift on November 26, 1862.
During a visit to the Liddells, English novelist Henry Kingsley happened to notice the manuscript. After reading it, he suggested to Mrs. Liddell that it be published. Dodgson published the book at his own expense, under the name Lewis Carroll, in 1865.