- “You're mad, bonkers, off your head. But I'll tell you a secret: all the best people are.”
- ―Charles to his daughter Alice
Charles Kingsleigh was a businessman that commanded a trading company that operated beyond Great Britain. He had a dream of setting trading posts as far as long as in Rangoon, Bangkok and Jakarta, an idea strongly opposed by his partners because of the financial risks involved.
At some point in his life, he married a woman called Helen and had two daughters with her, Margaret and Alice. He maintained a specially close relationship with Alice, the youngest one, because of their matching personalities. Alice, as Charles himself, had a vivid imagination and big dreams of her own. Her imagination used to sometimes oppress her with nightmares. When it occurred, Charles comforted Alice with kindly words. He used to say that he sometimes believed in six impossible things before breakfast, a motto that Alice carried to her adulthood.
He died at some point between 1855 and 1868. It is not clear if he lived enough to see his eldest daughter, Margaret, marry a man called Lowell. After his death, his wife sold his trading company to one of his closest partners, Lord Ascot, and later, Alice went up to become an apprentice within the company, thus following Charles' footsteps.
In 1855, Charles is trying to sell his project of setting trading posts in Asia to his partners. His talk is interrupted by his 6-year-old daughter Alice, who just had a recurring nightmare again. She tells her father she saw many strange creatures, including a dodo bird, a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat, a smiling cat and a blue caterpillar. Alice wonders if she has gone mad, which Charles responds she has. He, however, comforts her by saying that this is not a bad thing, because all the best people are mad. Thirteen years later, he's dead of unknown causes.