About Lewis Carroll

About Lewis Carroll (Written by Selwyn H. Goodacre)

Lewis Carroll, otherwise Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was born on 27th January 1832 in Daresbury, Cheshire, the eldest son, and third child (of eleven) of the Parson. He was educated at home, until the family moved in 1843 to Croft in Yorkshire. After a year at Richmond School he went on to Rugby, and in 1850 to Christ Church, Oxford University to read Mathematics, graduating B.A. in 1853; M.A. in 1857.

He remained at Christ Church as Mathematical Lecturer and early on, developed a friendship with the Dean´s daughters, Lorina, Alice and Edith.

On a “golden afternoon” in 1862, he took the girls on a trip up the river, and began to tell them the story of “Alice´s Adventures Under Ground”.

At Alice´s insistence, it was written down, and later expanded for publication in 1865 as “Alice´s Adventures In Wonderland”. It was soon recognized as the first undisputed masterpiece of modern children´s literature.

“Through The Looking-Glass followed” in 1872, a rare example of a sequel as good as the original. “The Hunting of The Snark” in 1876, a brilliant epic nonsense poem, appealed to an older age group. For some years he worked on a final book for children and eventually “Sylvie And Bruno” was published in two parts (1889 & 1893). A curious blend of fairy tale and adult romance, they never achieved great popularity.

Besides the Alice books, Carroll wrote several works on mathematics, and in later years devoted himself to logic. An early pioneer of photography, he is generally recognised as the leading photographer of children of the 19th Century.

Scholars have speculated on the nature of his friendship with little girls; certainly they stimulated him to heights of literary genius.

He died at Guildford in 1898, knowing that ALICE alone had sold over 150,000 copies in Britain. His immortality was assured.

Carte de visite photograph of Lewis Carroll with lens, 1863. Image Credit:Photograph by Oscar Gustav Rejlander. Gift of Arthur A. Houghton, Jr., The Morgan Library & Museum, Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2015.

Carte de visite photograph of Lewis Carroll with lens, 1863. Image Credit:Photograph by Oscar Gustav Rejlander. Gift of Arthur A. Houghton, Jr., The Morgan Library & Museum, Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2015.

 

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