This nOde last updated May 7th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
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Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge
Dodgson (dòj´sen), Charles Lutwidge
Pen name Lewis Carroll.
January 27th, 1832-1898
British mathematician and writer. His stories about Alice, invented to amuse the young daughter of a friend, appear in the classics Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and _Through the Looking-Glass_ (1872).
Carroll, Lewis, pseud. of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, 1832-98, English writer and mathematician. He lectured on mathematics at Oxford, but his fame rests on the fantasy novels Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1872). These books grew out of stories he told to children, among them Alice Liddell, the daughter of H.G. Liddell, dean of Christ Church, Oxford. An amateur photographer, Carroll photographed children.
"One can't believe impossible things.""I daresay
you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I
always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many
as six impossible things before breakfast."
Lewis Carroll (1832-98), English writer, mathematician. Alice and the White Queen, in Through the Looking Glass, ch. 5 (1872).
"All of Alice's subsquent distortions, softened by theloving iron of Lewis Carroll's imagination, retain the flavor of mushroomic hallucinations. Is there not something uncanny about the injection of this mushroom into Alice's story? What led the quiet Oxford don to hit on a device so felicitous, but at the same time sinister for the initiated readers, when he launched his maiden on her way? Did he dredge up this curious speciment of wondrous and even fearsome more from some deep well of hal conscious folk-knowledge?"
- Gordon Wasson - _Mushrooms, Russia and History_
"There was a large mushroom growing near her, about the same height as herself; and, when she had looked under it, and on both sides of it, and behind it, it occurred to her that she might as well look and see what was on top of it. She stretched herself up on tiptoe,and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large blue caterpillar, that was sitting on the top, with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else."
- Lewis Carroll - _Alice's Adventures In Wonderland_
Lewis Carroll was the pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a lecturer in mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford, who lived from 1832 to 1898. He was asymmetric in build, had one deaf ear, and stammered. He was ordained a deacon but declined to become a priest; he seldom preached because of his stutter. His religious beliefs were orthodox Anglican in every respect except that he did not believe in eternal damnation. He was an excellent amateur photographer, specializing in portraits of famous people and young girls. He was shy and reserved around adults, but went to great lengths to meet children (especially girls) and form friendships with them. He delighted in logic puzzles and games (he even published books of some he created) and wrote thousands of inventive letters to his child-friends. The most important of these friendships was with the three daughters of Henry George Liddell, the dean of Christ Church. These three were favorite photographic subjects of his, and he often took them on outings and boating trips on the Thames River. His favorite of the three was the second daughter, Alice, who was by all accounts an attractive girl. He created many extemporaneous fairy stories to entertain the three girls; the Alice books grew out of one of these stories, which Carroll wrote down at Alice's request. Carroll never married. He was a typical Victorian and strove for propriety in everything he did, especially in his many relationships with young girls; his personal life remains a subject of much speculation and controversy. His diary is filled with mysterious, scathing self-reproaches and desperate prayers to god to free his soul from sin. He never explains the origin of these intense feelings of guilt, but they correspond fairly closely with his periods of attachment with the Liddells. Alice's parents abruptly broke off their daughters' association with Carroll for a long period of time at one point, and Mrs. Liddell burned Carroll's early letters to Alice. The page of Carroll's diary chronicling the break has been torn out, and only enigmatic allusions appear to it afterwards. No evidence exists that Carroll's behavior was improper in any way towards Alice, but the fear that his feelings for her might exceed simple friendship seems to have concerned Mrs. Liddell, at least, even if Carroll never allowed it to enter his. In any case, the Alice books, with their charmingly exaggerated presentation of the child's quest to survive and eventually become part of the adult world, are filled with thinly-veiled references to Carroll's affection for his young friend and deep sorrow at losing her to the onset of adulthood.
- _Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band_ (1967) cover art depicts Lewis Carroll,
third row, second from right.
In Alice in Wonderland, the character
of the Dodo from the Caucus Race is in reality Lewis Carroll himself. Carroll’s
real name was Charles Dodgson
and he suffered from a stutter. When he tried to pronounce his surname he said “Do-Do-Dogson”, and was therefore called “Dodo” behind his back.