Have you ever gone on a literary pilgrimage?
Yes and no.
I didn’t deliberately go on a literary pilgrimage but, when we happened to spend a weekend staying in Llandudno, I discovered that next to our hotel was the Alice in Wonderland town trail.
According to www.visitconwy.org.uk, The Alice in Wonderland town trail allows visitors to “explore Llandudno, whilst discovering the connections of Alice Liddell (the real Alice in Wonderland) who lived in the resort in the 1860’s.”
This was genuinely interesting, and a wonderful celebration of an author’s work. But I found it a little unsettling because I’ve always been wary of Carroll and the rumours about his relationship with the Lidell children.
First and foremost, Alice in Wonderland is a fun children’s story. And it’s fair to add that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was a clever and accomplished individual on many levels. But, to my modern sensibilities, there seemed to be something unpalatable about following the path he had taken with his young and vulnerable muse and inspiration.
I’m not going to go into details here. This is a link to a relatively recent article on Dodgson’s proclivities. I think it’s enough for me to say that I kept referring to the town trail it as ‘The Yewtree Route’.
None of which stops Llandudno bay from being a beautiful part of the country. The town trail really does allow intrepid visitors to explore some delightful corners. There is also a strong sense of literary pilgrimage to an area that very likely inspired one of the earliest titles belonging to the golden age of children’s literature.
So, in summary: I have been on an inadvertent literary pilgrimage. But it’s best that I don’t write a Trip Advisor review.