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Arthur Liddell
Mr. Liddell
Biographical information
Provenance Oxford
Physical description
Gender Male
Personal information
Allies Mrs. Liddell, Lizzie Liddell, Alice Liddell
Occupation Dean (formerly)
Image gallery (4)
Whoever destroys a soul, destroys the world. There is much wisdom in that, Alice.
— Arthur Liddell to a young Alice

Arthur Liddell was the father of Alice and Elizabeth, and a husband to Mrs. Liddell. He was also a dean at Oxford University and an amateur photographer, until a fire in his family home killed him, his wife, and his daughter Lizzie.


Early life[]

Alice family photo

Arthur in another portrait without Lizzie.

Arthur lived in Oxford with his family, and was a dean at the city's university. While not at the university, he would focus on his passion for photography, and he used the downstairs library to keep his equipment and pictures, despite his wife's concerns about how easily the flammable things could be set alight, and Lizzie's dislike of the chemical smell.

As well as spending time on his hobby, Arthur would often invite his undergraduates to tea at the family household. His act of kindness led to one of his students, Angus Bumby, to become attracted and obsessed about Lizzie.

Bumby would try to make sexual advances towards Lizzie behind her family's back, despite her strong disgust towards him.[1]


Infuriated by Lizzie's "teasing", Bumby broke into the Liddell house and raped her.[2] Afterwards, he started a fire to cover up his crime. As both Arthur and Mrs. Liddell were heavy sleepers, they did not hear the "noises" coming from their eldest daughter's bedroom. With the flammable equipment acting as fuel, the fire spread quickly.[1]

In the chaos, Arthur and his wife told Alice to escape while they tried to get Lizzie out of her room.[1] However, because Bumby had killed Lizzie after raping her, and locked her bedroom door from the outside,[2] their efforts were pointless. They died by incineration as a result.

His body was so badly burned that it was unrecognizable[1] and he, along with his wife and eldest daughter, were "stored in an ice locker" while his youngest daughter was being treated in Littlemore Infirmary "in the likelihood that the whole family will be expeditiously interred at the same time". The death of her family soon led to Alice's descent into insanity,[3] and to the corruption of Wonderland.[4]


In the Liddell family portrait, Arthur appeared to be a middle-aged man with a squared jaw and small eyes. He had thick, dark hair, and a full beard and mustache. He was wearing a dark suit with a jacket and waistcoat.


I'm pleased you love my sea creatures, Alice. Photographs are a kind of imitation. A great painter captures a true likeness. The camera helps an amateur come close.
— Arthur Liddell to his younger daughter[1]

Little is known about Arthur, but it seems he was a proud man and father, and was like a hero or ideal role model to Alice. He loved his family very much, even to a point of sacrificing himself in an attempt to save his daughters. He was very wise and had a philosophical way of thinking. He had knowledge of various subjects, and had an artistic side, shown mainly through his love of photography. He had a strong dislike towards hunting trophies, viewing them as perverse creations that disgraces the once living animal and demeans their dignity, commenting he wanted no "taxidermic abominations" like bearskin rugs and deer antlers in his house.[1]



Alice Madness Returns - Second Teaser Trailer (Fiery Tentacles)

The "fiery tentacles" trailer.

  • Although never physically present, he appeared briefly in the portraits of the family, and spoke during the opening cinematic of American McGee's Alice and through Alice's recovered memories in Alice: Madness Returns.
  • Arthur, or at least his ghost or hallucination, appears briefly in the "fiery tentacles" trailer.
  • His name in the game is Arthur Liddell, but on the Alice: Asylum's sketchbook, his name on the grave was changed tô Henry Liddell
  • In the Extra Content of Madness Returns, Alice says that the White King reminds her of her father, hinting that the King could be a Wonderland incarnation of Arthur. This would also make sense since the White King was willing to sacrifice himself for Alice, much like Arthur was willing to sacrifice himself so that his two daughters could get out of the house alive (although failing this, as he only managed to save one).
  • In real life, Alice Liddell, who inspired the novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, was the daughter of Henry Liddell (6 February 1811 – 18 January 1898), who was the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, a dean of Christ Church constituent college, and the headmaster of Westminster School.
    • The real Alice Liddell's older brother was also named Arthur, so Arthur Liddell in American McGee's series may be a homage to him.
  • Although Arthur's name is never spoken in the video games, it is written in a newspaper article found in Alice: Madness Returns Storybook.
  • Arthur Liddell's penchant for photography could have been inspired by the real-life Charles Dodgson's photographical hobby. Both men pursued the art form outside of their respective careers, and Dodgson took photos of the real-life Alice Liddell while visiting the family in 1858. It is possible that Arthur captured the fictional Alice Liddell in the family portrait excluding Elizabeth through the use of a daguerreotype, or other such slow developing photography methods, if he took the photo himself with his own equipment.
  • Arthur had a copy of a book about Henry Walter Bates's amazon adventures, according to the Extra Content entry for Piranha.
  • Before the fire, both Arthur and Mrs. Liddell told Alice that they would take her to see an opera performance when she was old enough.[5]