With the spectacle of cinema, it's easy to forget a story's roots. That's especially the case when it's the story of a girl who slides down a hole, shrinks and grows due to magical food, has magical adventures with strange creatures, and sees the royalty of playing cards brought to life. But, as fans of the source material know, Alice in Wonderland isn't a complete fabrication. Just like Peter Pan, there's a real story behind the mystique.

To give you some background before diving into Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland tomorrow, Life has a great gallery that digs into the real-life Alice, and how the story became what it is today. As they write: "On July 4, 1862, Carroll took the girls on a rowboat trip to a picnic in a nearby town, telling them a story about a girl named Alice and a magical rabbit hole. Alice Liddell, then 10, begged him to write the story down for her." He wrote a story, and bit by bit it morphed into Alice in Wonderland. After getting published, new editions featured new characters, some of whom seem like an essential part of the story, whether we're talking about the Mad Hatter's tea party, or that grinning Cheshire Cat.

Check out some images of the real-life Alice below, courtesy of Time.

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The gallery also talks about the subsequent productions of the novel, and the behind-the-scenes turmoil, from the many links between Lewis Carroll's work and Alice Liddell, questions of pedophilia, and what ultimately happened to the girl who slid down that hole.