Victorian society was ruled by a complicated system of etiquette, or manners.
These were strict rules that controlled all aspects of life.
They described what you could and couldn't do in any possible situation.
Most of these rules were unwritten down, but everyone knew them. Many of these rules were particularly strict when it came to women and children. Children could be seen and not heard, which meant they were not allowed to speak in social situations unless someone had spoken to them first.
By setting his books in a strange Wonderland, Lewis Carroll was making fun and questioning lots of rules of etiquette. Also, by using a seven-year-old girl as his narrator, he could ask questions that he himself could not.