Deriving from Old French and Old German, related to Adelaide, Alice was a popular name in medieval England. Like most such names, by the middle of the 17th century Alice was regarded as old-fashioned and rustic, fit only for servants and the like. It had to wait until the mid-19th century love affair with the Middle Ages for its revival as a fashionable name; the novelist Charlotte M Yonge called it ‘a favourite fancy name’ in 1863. It was the name of the real middle-class child who inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland, the publication of which in 1865 spread the name’s popularity.
In about the 12th century Alice was latinised into the alternative form, Alicia, picked up again in the 18th century with the vogue for such variants.
LANE, Maggie. Jane Austen and names. Endeavour Press Ltd., 2014.