IT would have made author Lewis Carroll grin like a Cheshire cat - a collection of Alice in Wonderland's personal items fetching £2million at auction.

And if you want your own piece of history, Wednesday, June 6, is the very important date you shouldn't be late for.

Ten-year-old Alice Liddell inspired some of the most endearing and enduring children's stories during a river expedition with the author on the "golden afternoon" of July 4, 1862.

Eighteen years later, she married Reginald Hargreaves, son of wealthy Accrington mill owner Jonathan Hargreaves, and is understood to have stayed at Oak Hill Mansion in Accrington before she and her husband moved to the New Forest.

But she kept in touch with the author who immortalised her - a shy but successful Oxford mathematician whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

Now a magical collection of photographs, books, papers and other items belonging to the real Alice (1852-1934) is to be sold at Sotheby's in London on behalf of the Alice Family Trust on Wednesday, June 6.

The sale catalogue of 158 items includes Alice and Reginald's photograph album for 1905-07 which features a photograph of Oak Hill, the Hargreaves' original family home.

Dodgson was 30 when he took the three daughters of the Dean of his Oxford college, Christ Church, on a river picnic.

They pestered him to tell them a story and he began a tale about Alice's adventures down a rabbit hole.

Alice kept pleading with him to write the story down for her and as a Christmas present two years later he gave her a leather booklet containing the tale in his own handwriting and illustrated with his own drawings.

Oddly enough, when Alice married Reginald in 1880, the event was ignored by Carroll in his diary.

The Hargreaves family home, Oak Hill Mansion, faced an uncertain future but survived two attempts in the 1970s by Hyndburn Council to demolish it.

Several years ago it was bought for the nominal sum of £1 by charitable organisation the Abbeyfield Society which turned it into old people's accommodation.