Charles Lutwidge Dodgson: Nonsense Writer of the 1800 s Lewis Carroll is a well known and talked about author, whose writings have stirred up much controversy. His work has inspired ballot, puppet shows, and even music videos. (Vink).
Lewis Carroll is an outstanding English writer because of his background, his position in English literature, and his many works, such as his novel, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”‘Lewis Carroll,’ as he was to become known, was born on January 27, 1832 (Leach 1).
He was raised on a parsonage that was located in the middle of a cornfield. The family even raised livestock to supplement their income. Carroll was the oldest of four boys and seven girls. He referred to his mother as “‘one of the sweetest and gentlest women that ever lived,’ and was notable for the energy with which she ran the household.” (Carpenter and Prichard 97).
She taught all her children at home while they were young.
His father was an ordained priest. It was in 1843 when Carroll was eleven, the family moved to Yorkshire. This was a much more lucrative living arrangement; in fact, the house was .”.. so big that Mr. Dodgson was able to find room on the grounds for a school holding about [sixty] children” (97).
At twelve, Carroll was sent to grammar school at Richmond where he was happy and hard-working.
However, two years later he was sent on to a small private school at Rugby, where he was apparently bullied. Something he wrote a few years later aroused the suspicion that he may have suffered from some form of sexual abuse while at Rugby, but this is only a speculation.” He left Rugby at the end of 1849 and… went on in January 1851 to Oxford: to his father’s old college, Christ Church” (Leach 2).
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After only two days, he had to return home because “his mother had died of ‘Inflammation of the Brain’- perhaps meningitis or a stroke – at the age of forty- seven” (2) This did not seem to distract Carroll much or if it did it did not show, for he returned right back to Oxford where “the following year he achieved a first in HonourModerations, and was nominated to a Studentship (2).
He later won the Christ Church Mathematical Lectureship that he held for twenty-six years. “The income was good but the work bored him” (2).
“He became deacon of the Church of England in 1861 but chose not to go further” (Blake 46).
In 1856, he began to pursue his interest in photography and took great interest in photographing young girls. This has led to much controversy in today’s society; but before Freud and his psychosexual motives, there were no thoughts such as those that his theory proposes. “These photos were troubling by some, genius by others” (Vink).
He all together took about two thousand photographs in twenty five-years. Some believed that “there must have been been a sexual side to it but very much under control” (Vink).
In 1881, Carroll suddenly gave up photography and his lectureship, “making people suspect his intentions toward his models” (Vink).
Others believed that .”.. the likely reason was his desire to devote all his time to his writing… .” (Blake 58).
In 1867, he toured Russia and Europe with a friend. He then bought a house in Guildford.
He did this because both of his parents were both dead at this time, and his unmarried sisters needed a place to live. He then devoted the rest of his life to his writing. He died suddenly on January 14, 1898, of a violent case of pneumonia. “Carroll was a writer from the earliest age” (58).
He began writing a series of family magazines for the amusement of his family. “The first, begun when he was about [fourteen], and was called Useful and Instructive Poetry and consisted of humerus verses” (Carpenter and Prichard 98).
... willing ear, ... .' (Carroll, Lewis. Alice 209) Other than the influence that the entire Liddell Family had on Carroll's writing there were other ... the oldest of 11 children. All through his life he loved to write, and take photographs. He was an English mathematician ... not always in the complimentary fashion. Lorina and Edith, sisters of Alice Liddell, serve as inspirations for the characters of Lorry ...
While at Oxford, he published a series of mathematical textbooks, at least half a dozen, that were designed to help his students with their studies. In 1855, he began writing a diary that he kept throughout his entire adult life. The diary was kept in plain notebooks, which he called his private journal. In it, he recorded the main activities and events in his life, as well as information that he might want to look back on at a later date.
There is much gossip over those diaries. He wrote a total of thirteen volumes, but four have vanished. The volumes are kept now in a museum in England. “Carroll just loved language, loved the written word. He had a registrar of at least a hundred thousand letters sent and received throughout his life” (Vink).
Some of the letters were written so that they could only be read in a mirror; some were written in shapes such as spirals, and others were fully illustrated.
Indeed, he demonstrates his love for language when he wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland… It is truly a .”.. classic of the English language… and [has] been translated into virtually every other language… .” (Blake 44).
“It is a children’s story but it is also a book full of interest for adults and specialists like mathematicians, linguists, logicians, and Freudians” (Bosch 3) Carroll’s life changes when the Lindell’s arrive at Oxford.
Mr. Lindell became the Dean of the College. He brought with him, four little girls. Carroll became well acquainted with the children.
He would watch them play in the garden and was even seen in the courtyard, playing croquet on many occasions. Of the four daughters, it was Alice that he liked most of all. Not only was she physically attractive, but she asked him a lot of questions and Carroll liked that intellectual side of her. He photographed the sisters several times and thought the other sisters were very impatient, unlike Alice. He also took the girls on many outings. It was one of theses outings that led to the writing of Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
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It was a boat ride on July 4, 1862, when after much pleading from the sisters, Carroll began his story beginning with the white rabbit going down the rabbit hole. I twas later that same night that Alice said to Carroll, “‘Oh Mr. Dodgson, I wish you would write down Alice’s Adventures for me'” (Guiliano xii) “Dodgson began carrying out Alice’s charge to write it down the next morning following the boat trip… .” (xii).
He first named this written story ” Alice’s Adventures Underground.” Later Carroll decided to have John Tenniel illustrate the story. “Tenniel’s illustrations are inextricably wedded to the text, and it is his definitive portraits of Alice, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and all the other Wonderland characters have diffused into our popular culture” (xii).
The story was now ready to be published, and it was then that Charles Dodgson decided on the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. He thought this would distinguish him from his shy, more conservative side of himself. He even refused fan mail sent to the university, addressed to Lewis Carroll. His book was finally published in November 1865.
“It’s initial reviews were good, and as praise for the slim volume spread by word of mouth, the book sold and sold and has never stopped selling” (xiii).
Since being published, this book has caused a frenzy among critics. Many believed that Lewis Carroll was using drugs and may be even giving them to the children. At this particular time drugs were so easy to come by. One particular scene in the book shows a smoking opium while he is sitting on a psychedelic mushroom.
Others just believed that he did not need drugs that he had it all in his mind already. In the sixties when drugs were really popular, Alice began to pop up everywhere, even in music videos. She was as popular as the book itself. “Shew as dubbed a rebel” (Vink).
In the book, “she never freaked out about anything, just noticed when things were different” (Vink) “And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her face brightened up at the thought that she was now the right size for going through the little door into that lovely garden” (Carroll 10).
Not only did some view Carroll as someone that used drugs, but Freudians feel that throughout the story he uses symbols representing his affinity for children. , maybe even in a sexual manner. .”..
... What Alice Found There," but do you know the person that wrote the two most recognized children's books of all time. Lewis Carroll, who ... this time until his death in 1898, the story of Lewis Carroll is the story of his literary work and of his child friends ... . The story of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, mathematician, lecturer, and ...
The common symbolism of lock and key represents coitus; the doors of normal size represent adult women… and the interest is centered on the little door, which symbolizes a female child; the curtain before it represents the child’s clothes” (Goldschmidt 1).
There is no definite prove as to this theory though, in fact, it is known now since the release of his diaries that he did almost marry an actress named Ellen Terry. His relationship with her began when she was only a child, and it is said that “sometimes Carroll joked about a girl’s growing to old to be interesting, more often about her growing to old to care for him” (Blake 58).
It seems as if a shadow fell over Carroll’s life after he wrote the first Alice book and some believe that he expressed his intentions on marrying Alice, but her mother objected to the whole relationship.
Whatever the reason, it was very evident that something occurred during this time that caused him to distance himself from the Lindell family. This is also the time in which many pages from his diary were missing. Years later after Alice was married, Carroll sent her a letter that read,” I’ve had scores of child friends but they have been quite a different thing” (Vink).
It was six years after Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that he decided to write the sequel to it called Through the Looking Glass.
“The story was based on a chess game which is believed by some that is represents Alice becoming as adult and when Alice wins the chess game, Carroll loses Alice” (Vink).
Without a doubt, Lewis Carroll is truly an outstanding English writer as a result of his background, his position in English literature, and his many writings, including his novel, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” One critic had this to say about Lewis Carroll: He had a knack for being able to make the oldest person feel as if he / she was seven and a half, and following a rabbit, or any other animal that people think of when they see, or hear the words, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” What they do not think of are the oddities Lewis Carroll put so much thought into while writing the book (web).
... mention of the name Alice, one tends to usually think of the children's stories by Lewis Carroll. Namely, Alice's Adventures in ... many of whom likely represented real people known to the real Alice Liddell. Throughout the first story, Alice also finds herself growing ... are structured differently in the manner in which Carroll had written them. For Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, there is no ...