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Lewis Carroll

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Lewis Carroll was one of the most successful, original and influential children's writers of all time. He had many other talents. He was a pioneer of photography and possibly the finest children's photographer of the 19th century. He made significant contributions to the theory of logic, and devised a useful method of evaluating determinants. Among his inventions, travelling chess sets (where the pieces are held to the board by pegs) are still produced.

Lewis Carroll was in "real life" the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a lecturer in mathematics at Oxford University. It has been claimed that he was a "Jekyll and Hyde" type person, keeping these two sides of his life completely separate. This is not true. Much else that has been said about him is also not true. It has been claimed that he had no interest in adult women, but that he obsessed about young girls to the point of paedophilia. This is an unwarranted slur on his memory.

This Wikibook will lay out the facts of his life using unimpeachable sources, and let people come to their own conclusions. The intention is that people should read the whole book and then return here.

  Index Next: Ancestry


Archdeacon Dodgson, Lewis Carroll's father

Many of Lewis Carroll's family in the 18th and 19th centuries were clergymen in the Church of England.

Father's Father's Father's Father Christopher Dodgson[edit | edit source]

Christopher Dodgson (1686?-20 June 1750) was a clergyman and was Rector of Howden, Yorkshire. On 9 January 1721 he married Elizabeth Coulton; she died on 17 February 1744. Both are buried at Howden. They had two sons, Charles (see below) and Christopher (b. & d. 1730).

Father's Father's Father Charles Dodgson[edit | edit source]

Charles Dodgson MA (born in Howden, Yorkshire in 1721/1722, baptised on 10 January 1722) was educated at Westminster School and St. John's College Cambridge.

He became a clergyman and was appointed to the parish of Bintry, Norfolk in 1846. He moved to the north of England, keeping a school at Stanwix, Cumberland and becoming Rector of Kirby Wiske in 1755. He was tutor to Lord Algernon Percy, the son of the then Duke of Northumberland; in 1762, the Duke gave him the parish of Elsdon, Northumberland. Rapidly promoted, he became a bishop in 1765. His first diocese was Ossory and Ferns in Southern Ireland and in 1775 he was promoted to the more important see of Elphin, County Roscommon.

In 1768, he married Mary Frances Smyth (1749-1796). Among their children were Capt. Charles Dodgson (1771 - 1803) and 2nd Lieut. Percy Currer Dodgson RN (1782 - 1807). He died on 21 January 1795 ‎in Dublin.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1762. (The Duke had been a fellow since 1736.)

Stuart Dodgson Collingwood quotes from letters that Charles Dodgson wrote to the Duke and his family, apparently while he was at Elsdon.

I am obliged to you for promising to write to me, but don't give yourself the trouble of writing to this place, for 'tis almost impossible to receive 'em, without sending a messenger 16 miles to fetch 'em.
'Tis impossible to describe the oddity of my situation at present, which, however, is not void of some pleasant circumstances.
A clogmaker combs out my wig upon my curate's head, by way of a block, and his wife powders it with a dredging-box.
The vestibule of the castle (used as a temporary parsonage) is a low stable; above it the kitchen, in which are two little beds joining to each other. The curate and his wife lay in one, and Margery the maid in the other. I lay in the parlour between two beds to keep me from being frozen to death, for as we keep open house the winds enter from every quarter, and are apt to sweep into bed to me.
Elsdon was once a market town as some say, and a city according to others; but as the annals of the parish were lost several centuries ago, it is impossible to determine what age it was either the one or the other.
There are not the least traces of the former grandeur to be found, whence some antiquaries are apt to believe that it lost both its trade and charter at the Deluge.
... There is a very good understanding between the parties [he is speaking of the Churchmen and Presbyterians who lived in the parish], for they not only intermarry with one another, but frequently do penance together in a white sheet, with a white wand, barefoot, and in the coldest season of the year. I have not finished the description for fear of bringing on a fit of the ague. Indeed, the ideas of sensation are sufficient to starve a man to death, without having recourse to those of reflection.
If I was not assured by the best authority on earth that the world is to be destroyed by fire, I should conclude that the day of destruction is at hand, but brought on by means of an agent very opposite to that of heat.
I have lost the use of everything but my reason, though my head is entrenched in three night-caps, and my throat, which is very bad, is fortified by a pair of stockings twisted in the form of a cravat.
As washing is very cheap, I wear two shirts at a time, and, for want of a wardrobe, I hang my great coat upon my own back, and generally keep on my boots in imitation of my namesake of Sweden. Indeed, since the snow became two feet deep (as I wanted a 'chaappin of Yale' from the public-house), I made an offer of them to Margery the maid, but her legs are too thick to make use of them, and I am told that the greater part of my parishioners are not less substantial, and notwithstanding this they are remarkable for agility.

Collingwood notes that when Mr. Dodgson was translated to the see of Elphin, "he was warmly congratulated on this change in his fortunes by George III., who said that he ought indeed to be thankful to have got away from a palace where the stabling was so bad."

The bishop had four children: Charles (see below), Elizabeth Anne (see below), Thomas (1775-1794) and Percy Currer (see below).

Father's father Charles Dodgson[edit | edit source]

Charles Dodgson (1769?-1803) was educated at Westminster School and St. John's College Cambridge. Forsaking the family career of the Church, he joined the army in 1795; he was commissioned in 1797 and was promoted to captain in December 1798. He married Lucy Hume (born 1775, daughter of James Hume, Chairman of the Board of Customs) on 16th February 1799. He was killed in action at Philipstown, Kings County, Ireland (now Daingean, County Offaly) and was buried there. Lucy died at Wandsworth in September 1818 and is buried at Chichester cathedral. They had two sons, Charles and Hassard (see below).

Father's father's brother Percy Dodgson[edit | edit source]

Percy Currer Dodgson (1782-1807) joined the Royal Navy and became a 2nd lieutenant, serving on HMS Diamond. He died off Havre-de-Grace, officially from 'consequence of a cold'. However, it has been claimed that he was in fact "killed by a man falling on him from the ship's superstructure".

Father Charles Dodgson[edit | edit source]

Charles Dodgson MA (2 November 1800 – 21 June 1868) was born in Hamilton, Lanark, Scotland. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, earning a Double First in Mathematics and Classics in 1821. He received his MA in 1825. In 1827 he became Perpetual Curate of Daresbury, Cheshire and married his first cousin, Frances Jane Lutwidge. In 1843 the Prime Minister, Robert Peel, made him rector of Croft, Yorkshire. In 1852, he also became Archdeacon of Richmond and in 1853 a canon of Ripon Cathedral. He died in 1868 and was buried at Croft. In 1897, Lewis Carroll wrote to a friend who had just lost her father "The greatest blow that has ever fallen on my life was the death, nearly thirty years ago, of my own dear father".

A close friend of Edward Bouverie Pusey, Dodgson translated the works of Tertullian into English for Pusey's "The Library of the Masters" series; it was published in 1842.

Dodgson and his wife had eleven children, four boys and seven girls. Lewis Carroll was the third child and first boy.

Father's brother Hassard Dodgson[edit | edit source]

Hassard Hume Dodgson (30 December 1803 - 3 September 1884) was born at Mayborough, Port Laoise, Ireland, two weeks after his father's death. He was educated at Westminster School (where he was a King's Scholar) and Christ Church, Oxford, earning a BA (1826) and an MA (1829). He entered Lincoln's Inn in 1827 and the Inner Temple in 1844. He was a Master of Common Pleas (1871-9). He married his first cousin, Caroline Hume (1809-1875; her father, James Deacon Hume, was the brother of his mother Lucy) on 27 August 1833. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery.

They had ten children, five boys and five girls. The two oldest boys (Francis Hume, 1834-1917 and Percy, 1838-1886) both emigrated to Australia.

Mother's mother Elizabeth née Dodgson[edit | edit source]

Elizabeth Lutwidge, née Dodgson (1770 - 17 April 1836) was the daughter of Bishop Charles Dodgson (above). She married Major Charles Lutwidge (15 June 1768 - 7 September 1848). They had eight children, two boys and three girls. The first, Elizabeth (1798-1883), married Thomas Raikes; the second, Rev. Charles Henry Lutwidge (21 March 1800 - 15 January 1843), married Anne Louisa Raikes. Thus Lewis Carroll was connected in two ways with the Raikes family. For the next three (Skeffington, Frances and Lucy) see below. The youngest were Charlotte (1807-1857), Margaret (1809-1869) and Henrietta (1811-1872).

Mother Frances née Lutwidge[edit | edit source]

Frances Dodgson née Lutwidge (13 July 1803 - 26 January 1851) married Charles Dodgson (above) in 1827. She died suddenly of "Inflammation of the Brain" (maybe meningitis or a stroke) only two days after Lewis Carroll went up to Oxford (and the day before his 19th birthday), and he had to rush home for the funeral.

Mother's brother Skeffington Lutwidge[edit | edit source]

(Robert Wilfred) Skeffington Lutwidge (17 January 1802 - 28 May 1873) went to St. John's College Cambridge (BA, 18th Wrangler 1824, MA 1827) and became a barrister in 1827. He was a Commissioner in Lunacy, 1842-5, ceasing to be one when he became Secretary to the Lunacy Commissioners. He resumed being a Commissioner in 1855 to replace another commissioner, James Williams Mylne, who had died. In 1856 he was Commissioner of Inquiry into the state of lunatic asylums in Ireland. He died after being attacked by a lunatic.

He was responsible for inspiring Lewis Carroll's long interest in photography.

Mother's sister Lucy Lutwidge[edit | edit source]

Lucy Lutwidge (1805-1880) was very close to Lewis Carroll and his brothers and sisters. She was a contributor to their childhood magazine The Rectory Magazine. After the death of Lewis Carroll's mother, she spent the rest of her life caring for his family.

Previous: Introduction Index Next: Descended from Royalty

Descended from Royalty

Edward III
John of Gaunt

Lewis Carroll was a descendant of King Edward III of England. This descent has long been well known to the Dodgson family, but has been independently "discovered" by others. The line is as follows:

  • Edward III, 1312-1377
  • John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, 1340-1398
  • Joan de Beaufort, 1375-1440
  • Eleanor Neville, Countess of Northumberland, 1407-1472
  • Ralph Percy, 1425-1464
  • Margaret Percy, 1462-1506
  • Guiscard Harbottle, 1485-1513
  • Mary Harbottle, 1507-1556
  • Edward Fitton, 1527-1579
  • Edward Fitton, 1550-1606
  • Anne Fitton, 1574-?
  • Anne Newdigate, 1608-1637
  • John Skeffington, 1629?-1695
    • 4th Baronet; 2nd Viscount Massereene in succession to his father-in-law
  • Mary Skeffington, 1655-1732
    • Married Sir Charles Hoghton, Bt.
  • Lucy Hoghton, 1694-1780
  • Henry Lutwidge, 1724-1798
  • Charles Lutwidge, 1768-1848
  • Frances Lutwidge, 1803-1851
  • Lewis Carroll

Skeffington[edit | edit source]

The Skeffington ancestry explains the unusual name of his uncle, Skeffington Lutwidge, which passed to his brother, Skeffington Dodgson.

Hoghton[edit | edit source]

Sir Charles Hoghton was descended from Sir Richard Hoghton, 1st baronet. It was at Sir Richard's table that King James I allegedly knighted a loin of beef, making it a sirloin. Sir Richard was descended from Lucia, sister of the Earls Edwin and Morcar at the time of the Norman Conquest, who married Yvo de Talbois, Count of Anjou.

In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Mouse claims that the driest thing he knows is a passage about the Earls Edwin and Morcar. Roger Lancelyn Green claimed that Lewis Carroll could not have known about his relationship to these earls, or he would not have made fun of this passage. This could underestimate Lewis Carroll's sense of humour.

Previous: Ancestry Index Next: Early Life

Early Life

Croft Rectory, the family home

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (CLD) was born on 27 January 1832 in Daresbury, Cheshire. He was the third child and first son of the perpetual curate of Daresbury, Charles Dodgson, and Frances Dodgson née Lutwidge. There would eventually be eleven children, four boys and seven girls. None died young; apart from Charles, all lived to 70.

In 1843, the Prime Minister, Robert Peel, gave Charles Dodgson the position of rector of Croft, Yorkshire. This was a much better paid job, and the rectory was far bigger than their previous accommodation. The last child, Edwin, was born there in 1846.

In 1844, CLD was sent to a boarding school, Richmond. He showed considerable promise.

In 1846, he was able to transfer to Rugby School, one of the finest schools in England. However, he hated his time there.

In January 1851, he went up to his father's old college, Christ Church, Oxford. He was to remain there for the rest of his life. However, his mother died just after he went, and he had to hurry home for the funeral. A few weeks later, his mother's younger sister Lucy moved in with the family to look after the children; she was to stay with them until her own death in 1880.

In 1852, Charles Dodgson became Archdeacon of Richmond and a canon of Ripon Cathedral.

In December 1852, CLD received a First Class in Maths Moderations. On the basis of this, his father's friend E. B. Pusey got him a Studentship, meaning that he was a life member of Christ Church provided he remained unmarried and became a Church of England minister.

In October 1854, he received a First Class in the Final Mathematics School. He was awarded his BA in December.

In February 1855, he was made "Master of the House" (giving him the privileges of an MA, but only within the grounds of Christ Church) in honour of the appointment of the new Dean, H. G. Liddell.

Later in 1855, he was in contact with the editor of The Comic Times, Edmund Yates, offering short stories and poems for publication. Yates asked him to propose a pen name, and from CLD's list of suggestions chose "Lewis Carroll".

In 1856, CLD took up photography as a hobby. He was inspired by his mother's brother, Skeffington Lutwidge, and his friend Reginald Southey, great-nephew of the poet Robert Southey. In this year, he first met H. G. Liddell's second daughter, Alice.

In 1857, he had a holiday in the Lake District, during which he met Tennyson. In Novewmber, he wrote the first version of Hiawatha's Photographing. He was later to revise it extensively.

In December 1861, he was ordained a deacon in the Church of England. He never proceeded to full orders.

Previous: Descended from Royalty Index Next: Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

During the summer of 1862, CLD frequently took the Dean's three eldest daughters, Lorina, Alice and Edith, on rowing trips on the Isis. His usual adult companion was Robinson Duckworth. On 4th July, CLD, keen to start the story in a novel way, sent his heroine (called Alice) down a rabbit-hole. In 1899, Duckworth recalled "I rowed stroke and he rowed bow in the famous Long Vacation voyage to Godstow, when the three Miss Liddells were our passengers, and the story was actually composed and spoken over my shoulder."

At the end of the trip, Alice told him that the story was exceptionally good and asked him to write it down. This took him quite a long time, and no doubt he expanded the story quite a bit in the process. However, in November he gave her a slim volume entitled "Alice's Adventures Underground".

The following year, several people, including the writer George MacDonald and his family, urged him to publish the book. He persuaded the noted cartoonist John Tenniel to illustrate it and MacMillan to publish it.

The first edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was printed in 1865 in an edition of 2,000. However, Tenniel was unhappy with the reproduction of his illustrations, so Carroll cancelled the publication. Most of the sheets, still unbound, were sold to the American publisher, Appleton. A better-printed edition appeared in 1866. Also in 1865, Carroll's satire on current events in Oxford, The Dynamics of a Parti-cle, was published. Appearing to be a treatise on geometry, it actually describes the election of Member of Parliament for Oxford University, where William Gladstone was defeated by Gathorne Hardy.

The success of Alice's Adventures was so great that Carroll was persuaded to write a sequel. He began in early 1867, but progress was delayed by his only foreign trip, when he accompanied his friend Henry Parry Liddon on a tour of Europe. Liddon's purpose was to meet leaders of the Russion Orthodox Church to try and improve relations between them and the Church of England. The journey is fully documented in the diaries kept by the two.

In 1868, CLD's father died. CLD was devastated; nearly 30 years later, writing to a friend (the illustrator Gertrude Thomson) who had lost her own father, he called it the greatest blow in his life and said that he still could not talk about it. His family now had to leave the rectory at Croft. He took his responsibilities as the new head of the family very seriously, and arranged for them to move to Guildford, and bought them a house called "The Chestnuts".

Also in 1868, he published a short story, Bruno's Revenge, in "Aunt Judy's Magazine". From this nucleus there grew his two-volume novel, Sylvie and Bruno.

There are also a movie series include 2 movie. First one named as Alice in Wonderland which was published in 2010. It was directed by Tim Burton who is known for his Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Corpse Bride (2005). The other one, Alice Through the Looking Glass was published in 2016. It was directed by James Bobin who is known for Muppets (2011).

Previous: Early Life Index Next: Through the Looking-Glass

Through the Looking-Glass

The Alice books were far from the only works published under the name of "Lewis Carroll". In 1868, he published a short story, Bruno's Revenge, in Aunt Judy's Magazine; this was later to grow into Sylvie and bruno. An important book, Phantasmagoria and Other Poems, appeared in 1869. Phantasmagoria, a poem about a man and the ghost who comes to haunt him, is his second-longest poem after The Hunting of the Snark.

In 1869, CLD sent the first chapter of "Through the Looking-Glass" to his publisher MacMillan. He had difficulty persuading Tenniel to illustrate it, but eventually Tenniel agreed. It appeared in late 1871, though it had 1872 on the title page. It had 50 illustrations, compared with the 42 of Wonderland.

CLD took a major role in controversies at his university. He wrote two satires criticising the building works at Christ Church, The New Belfry of Christ Church (Oxford) in 1872 and The Vision of the Three Ts in 1873. He used the pseudonym DCL, a re-arrangement of his initials, but people in Oxford knew that he was the author. These and other works were collected in 1874 as Notes by an Oxford Chiel.

Previous: Alice in Wonderland Index Next: Geometry and Logic

Geometry and Logic

Continuing his work as a mathematician, CLD published several mathematical works in 1874 using his real name.

In 1874, he spent a lot of time nursing a dying relative, Charlie Wilcox. On 18 July, he went for a walk to get a rest from nursing, and (as he later recalled in Alice on the Stage):

I was walking on a hillside, alone, one bright summer day, when suddenly there came into my head one line of verse – one solitary line – 'For the Snark was a Boojum, you see'. I knew not what it meant, then: I know not what it means, now; but I wrote it down: and, sometime afterwards, the rest of the stanza occurred to me, that being its last line: and so by degrees, at odd moments during the next year or two, the rest of the poem pieced itself together, that being its last stanza.
Previous: Through the Looking-Glass Index Next: Sylvie and Bruno

Sylvie and Bruno

Previous: Geometry and Logic Index Next: Child friends and adult friends

Child friends and adult friends

Probably the greatest fallacy about Lewis Carroll is that he never had any affection for adult women. He was allegedly obsessed with little girls (never boys) to the point that he has been called a paedophile, and that he ceased to want to know his child friends as soon as they became adults. This is a total slur on his memory. In fact, he remained fond of, and close to, many women long after they had become adults. Further, there were several boys among his child friends, notably Greville MacDonald, Hallam Tennyson (son of the poet) and the actor Bert Coote.

It may be that he was too shy to make friends with many adult women, but that does not mean that he did not enjoy their company. Once he had established a friendship with a girl, he was happy enough to continue it into adulthood with any girl who did not drift away.

Mary Brown[edit | edit source]

Mary Brown (1861-?) was a long-standing friend. In a letter to her dated October 11, 1882, he says "It is very pleasant to think that your child-friendship for me has not quite evaporated (as so many have done) on your reaching womanhood." It seems that it was his young friends who left him, and he was quite happy to continue affectionately with grown-ups. Indeed, S. D. Collingwood refers in his Life and Letters (p. 413) to "friendships which endure: the sort of friendship that he always longed for, and so often failed to secure".

In a letter to her dated December 26, 1889 (when she was 28) he says "I find it one of the pleasures of old age (I think at 57 I may call myself an old man?) to be allowed to enter into the inner lives, and secret sorrows, of child-friends now grown to be women, and to give them such comfort and advice as I can."

Gertrude Chataway[edit | edit source]

Gertrude Chataway (1866-1951) was one of Lewis Carroll's closest friends. He dedicated The Hunting of the Snark to her. The first edition (1876) is prefaced "Inscribed to a dear Child: in memory of golden summer hours and whispers of a summer sea." There follows a poem in which her name is concealed in two different ways. When Carroll included The Hunting of the Snark in his collection Rhyme and Reason (1883), he copied the dedication into that book.

They remained friends until his death, with no sign of the alleged parting of the ways that his child friends were supposed to have when they became adults. She stayed with him at Eastbourne, 19-23 September 1893, when she was 27; she would have stayed longer, but her very recently widowed father was lonely. There is, of course, no suggestion that anything improper could have happened between them. In his last surviving letter to her, dated January 1, 1895 (when she was 28), he still began "My dear Gertrude" and signed it "Your loving old friend".

Edith Rix[edit | edit source]

Edith Rix (1866-1918) was another close friend. She came to Carroll's attention while he was publishing a ten-part serial called "A Tangled Tale" (1880-5). Each episode contained a story in which one or more mathematical puzzles were embedded. Correspondents sent in solutions, which he marked as grade I, II or III class solutions (or fails if they were wrong). Most correspondents used pseudonyms. One of the few who did not was E. M. Rix, who answered only the very last question posed in February 1885, but was awarded grade I for that.

They first met on 25 June 1885 (when she was 19); he says in his diary "Edith and I met as quite old friends". On 27 June he took her and her mother to the Royal Academy; Mrs Rix left at noon, leaving Edith with Carroll until 8pm. When Carroll published "A Tangled Tale" in one volume (1885), he dedicated it with a poem, starting "Beloved pupil", in which her name is concealed.

In his last surviving letter to her, dated December 31, 1889 (when she was 23), he still began "Dearest Edith". He continued to meet her regularly; he had tea with her on 21 August 1897, just months before his death.

Theodosia Heaphy[edit | edit source]

Theodosia Heaphy (1859-1920, later Mrs. Russell-Morris) was another person who stayed friends into adulthood. On 14 April 1884, he writes to a friend "Just now she - Mrs. G[rundy] - is no doubt busy talking about me and another young friend of mine - a mere child, only 4 or 5 and 20 - whom I have brought down from town."

They remained friends even after her marriage, and he visited her son Vivian in hospital. Carroll's sister gave Vivian a copy of the Nursery Alice inscribed "For Vivian. With L. Dodgson's love."

The Drury sisters[edit | edit source]

Lewis Carroll met the three Drury sisters during a train journey in 1869. They were Mary (1859-1935), Isabella (1862-84) and Emily (1864-1930). He remained friends with them even after their marriages, and had lunch with Mary on 30 October 1897, less than three months before his death.

Why has the myth arisen?[edit | edit source]

It seems that Lewis Carroll's sister Mary was concerned about his friendships with young ladies. During or just before Gertrude Chataway's stay with him in 1893, he evidently had a letter from her, because he replied on 21st September: "I do like getting such letters as yours. I think all you say about my girl-guests is most kind and sisterly ... But I don't think it at all advisable to any controversy about it." He goes on to say that he does not care for the opinion of others, and is only concerned with his own conscience.

Mary's son Stuart Collingwood wrote the first biography of Lewis Carroll. He was later to admit that his mother and her sisters were extremely fond of their brother, and would not allow the slightest suggestion that he had any human weaknesses. Even after all their deaths, when Roger Lancelyn Green published Lewis Carroll's diaries in 1953, Lewis Carroll's surviving nieces would not allow him to see the originals and he had to work from a censored transcript. When the originals were finally deposited in the British Library, some volumes had gone missing and others had had pages cut out.

Thus his family may have tried to conceal all evidence of his relationships with adult women, suggesting that he only had pure, innocent relationships with young girls. If so, it has backfired.

Previous: Sylvie and Bruno Index Next: Mr. Dodgson and Mr. Carroll

Mr. Dodgson and Mr. Carroll

Lewis Carroll generally guarded his "real life" identity of C. L. Dodgson very carefully. He went so far as to produce a printed notice known as the "Stranger circular" to that effect. When he received letters addressed to C. L. Dodgson, talking about Lewis Carroll, he returned them with this notice. It said, curtly, "Mr Dodgson . . . neither claims nor acknowledges any connection with any pseudonym or with any book not published under his own name."

Langford Reed and Evelyn Hatch[edit | edit source]

Langford Reed, in his biography, goes so far as to suggest that he should be viewed as two people, "Professor" (sic) Dodgson, who wrote very boring books about mathematics, and Lewis Carroll, who wrote children's stories. In fact, this is a long way from the truth. There was plenty of totally serious stuff, and indeed some mathematics, published under the name of Lewis Carroll, and at least one fairly humorous work published as C. L. Dodgson. There was also quite a lot published under other pseudonyms.

Carroll's Friend Evelyn Hatch puts it another way in her collection of his letters (1933): "It is "Mr. Dodgson" who appears in these pages, a personality quite as unique and delightful as the author of Alice in Wonderland". This book is full of imaginative nonsense, some signed by "Lewis Carroll", some by "C. L. Dodgson" and, in one case, by both.

Mathematics and logic published by "Lewis Carroll"[edit | edit source]

A Tangled Tale[edit | edit source]

A Tangled Tale was a serial published in 1880-1 in ten parts, then reprinted as a book in 1885. It is an amusing story, or to be precise three stories which unfold and, in the last chapter, come together. Each episode told part of a story, and has embedded in it one or more maths puzzles. Contributors were invited to submit answers. He marked all these answers, which he graded as class I, II, III or fail, and published his solutions and criticisms of some of the answers received. The story itself is typically Carrollian. Some of the puzzles too are jokes, but most involve some serious mathematics. Thus this is clearly a piece of mathematical tutoring, as serious as any of the textbooks he wrote, as well as a Lewis Carroll novel.

In summary, this work clearly combines Carroll and Dodgson characteristics.

The Game of Logic[edit | edit source]

The Game of Logic was published in a private edition in 1886 and in one for general sale in 1887. This is an attempt to teach formal logic to children by a game involving a board and counters. While there are clear traces of Carrollian humour in the logical propositions to be analysed, e.g.

All Dragons are uncanny
All Scotchmen are canny
All Dragons are not-Scotchmen
All Scotchmen are not-Dragons

it is basically a treatise on elementary logic.

Symbolic Logic[edit | edit source]

Symbolic Logic, Part I was published in 1896 as a Lewis Carroll book. Carroll envisaged two further parts but never completed them. The available material was edited for publication by W. W. Bartley in 1977 (2nd edition 1986). This is a serious treatise on logic, which in recent years has come to be regarded as an important contribution to the subject. Again, there is plenty of lightheartedness in the propositions to be analysed, but on the "two person" theory it is a Dodgson work with only minor contributions from Carroll.

Serious works published by "Lewis Carroll"[edit | edit source]

Poems[edit | edit source]

The pseudonym "Lewis Carroll" was not invented for the Alice books. Several years earlier, he had published several poems in a magazine called "The Train" under that name. Some of them - "Solitude", "The Path of Roses" and "The Sailor's Wife" - are totally serious poems. His last book, "Three Sunsets" (published just after his death), includes these and several other poems, nearly all serious.

Against Vivisection[edit | edit source]

Carroll was a staunch opponent of vivisection. He published a letter "Vivisection as a sign of the Times" in the Pall Mall Gazette on 12 February 1875, and a substantial article "Some Popular Fallacies about Vivisection" in The Fortnightly Review on 1 June 1875. Ten years later, he returned to the subject with "Vivisection Vivisected" in The St. James's Gazette, 19 March 1885. All of these were serious arguments against vivisection. All were signed "Lewis Carroll".

Purity of Election[edit | edit source]

On 4 May 1881 a letter appeared in St. James's Gazette, signed by Lewis Carroll, called Purity of Election. This is a totally serious attempt to suggest ways to avoid bribery and corruption in elections.

Euclid and his Modern Rivals[edit | edit source]

This book was published in 1879 (2nd ed 1885) under the name of C. L. Dodgson. It is a discussion of the relative merits and demerits of a series of 19th century textbooks on geometry. How dull and boring - what could be better suited to Mr. Dodgson and further from Lewis Carroll? But there are many touches to this book that indicate the opposite. The whole book turns out to be the dream of an examiner, Minos (he and his colleague Rhadamanthus take their names from mythical Greek judges). Minos meets the ghost of Euclid, and a German professor called Herr Niemand (Mr. Nobody), evidently the twin of Mein Herr in the Sylvie and Bruno books. There are plenty of jokes, e.g. (p. 3)

Minos: He might just as well say that a young lady, who was inclined to one young man, was 'equally and similarly inclined' to all young men!
Rhadamanthus: She might 'make equal angling' with them all, anyhow.

And in a passage which clearly recalls the discussion in Through the Looking-Glass between the White King and Haigha about Nobody (p. 182):

Niemand: The final list, was it? Well, ask your friend whether, since the drawing up of that list, any addition has been made: he will say 'Nobody has been added.'
Minos: Quite so.
Niemand: You do not understand. Nobody - Niemand - see you not?
Minos: What? You mean -
Niemand (solemnly): I do, my friend. I have been added to it!
Minos (bowing) The Committee are highly honoured, I am sure.
Niemand: So they ought to be, considering that I am a more distinguished mathematician than Newton himself, and that my Manual is better known than Euclid's! Excuse my self-glorification, but any moralist will tell you that I - I alone among men - ought to praise myself.

Can the author of that really be the humourless pedant that Mr. Dodgson has been portrayed as being?

Some other pseudonyms[edit | edit source]

Lewis Carroll published works under several different pseudonyms. For example, he wrote several satirical pieces about events at Oxford University under the transparent pseudonym D. C. L. (a rearrangement of his initials). Some of these, such as "The New Method of Evaluation as Applied to Π" and "The Dynamics of a Parti-cle", involve quite a lot of mathematics. These works do not fit into the "two people" theory, unless we suppose that D. C. L. is a third person.

Previous: Child friends and adult friends Index Next: References


Lewis Carroll: References

There is a vast literature about Lewis Carroll. This is an attempt to list the most useful books, rigorously excluding the sensational, worthless and totally daft.

Books[edit | edit source]

  • Abeles, Francine F. (1994): The Mathematical Pamphlets of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
  • Abeles, Francine F. (2001): The Political Pamphlets and Letters of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
  • Abeles, Francine F. (2010): The Logic Pamphlets of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
  • Amor, Anne Clark (1990): Letters to Skeffington Dodgson from his Father
  • Amor, Anne Clark (1995): Lewis Carroll, Child of the North
  • Bakewell, Michael (1996): Lewis Carroll: a biography
  • Bartley, William Warren (1977): Lewis Carroll's Symbolic Logic (2nd ed 1986)
  • Bill, E. G. W. & Mason, J. F. A. (1970): Christ Church and Reform 1850-1869
  • Bowman, Isa (1899): The Story of Lewis Carroll
    • Reprinted 1972 as "Lewis Carroll as I Knew Him"
  • Clark, Anne (1979) Lewis Carroll: A Biography
  • Cohen, Morton N. (1978): Lewis Carroll, Photographer of Children
  • Cohen, Morton N. (1979): The Russian Journal - II: A Record kept by Henry Parry Liddon of a Tour Taken with C. L. Dodgson
  • Cohen, Morton N. (1980): Lewis Carroll and the Kitchins
  • Cohen, Morton N. (1989): Lewis Carroll: Interviews & Recollections
  • Cohen, Morton N. (1995): Lewis Carroll: a biography
  • Cohen, Morton N. and Gandolfo, Anita (1987): Lewis Carroll and the House of Macmillan
  • Cohen, Morton N. and Green, Roger Lancelyn (1979): The Letters of Lewis Carroll (2 vols)
  • Cohen, Morton N. and Wakeling, Edward (2003): Lewis Carroll & His Illustrators
  • Collingwood, Stuart Dodgson (1898a): The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll
  • Collingwood, Stuart Dodgson (1899): The Lewis Carroll Picture Book
  • Furniss, Harry (1901): Confessions of a Caricaturist
  • Furniss, Harry (1924): Some Victorian Men
  • Gernsheim, Helmut (1949): Lewis Carroll: Photographer
  • Gernsheim, Helmut (1980): Lewis Carroll, Victorian Photographer
  • Green, Roger Lancelyn (1946): Tellers of Tales, Chapter III (Lewis Carroll), pp31-50
  • Green, Roger Lancelyn (1953): The Diaries of Lewis Carroll
    • This edition is abridged and censored
  • Hatch, Evelyn (1933): A Selection from the Letters of Lewis Carroll to His Child-Friends
  • Hudson, Derek (1977): Lewis Carroll (2nd ed.)
  • Lennon, Florence Becker (1972): The Life of Lewis Carroll
  • Lewis Carroll Society (1973): Mr Dodgson, Nine Lewis Carroll Studies
  • Lovett, Charles (1999) Lewis Carroll and the Press
  • McDermott, John Francis (1935): The Russian Journal and Other Selections from the Works of Lewis Carroll
  • O'Connor, Michael (2012): All in the Golden Afternoon: The Origins of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  • Pudney, John (1976): Lewis Carroll and His World
  • Reed, Langford (1932): The Life of Lewis Carroll
  • Shaberman, Raphael B. (1978): A Plum-Cake Lost and Found
  • Shaberman, Raphael B. (1982): Lewis Carroll and Mrs. Liddell
  • Shaberman, Raphael B. and Crutch, Denis (1972): Under the Quizzing Glass, A Lewis Carroll Miscellany
  • Stern, Jeffrey (1997): Lewis Carroll, Bibliophile
  • Taylor, Roger and Wakeling, Edward (2002): Lewis Carroll Photographer
  • Wakeling, Edward (1978): The Logic of Lewis Carroll
  • Wakeling, Edward (1992): Skeffington Hume Dodgson, Brother of Lewis Carroll
  • Wakeling, Edward (1993): The Oxford Pamphlets, Leaflets, and Circulars of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
  • Wakeling, Edward (1993-2007): Lewis Carroll's Diaries (10 vols)
  • Weaver, Warren (1964) Alice in many tongues: The translations of Alice in Wonderland
  • Williams, Sidney; Madan, Falconer; Green, Roger Lancelyn and Crutch, Denis (1979): The Lewis Carroll Handbook
  • Woolf, Jenny (2005, 2nd ed 2010) Lewis Carroll in his Own Account: The Complete Bank Account of The Rev. C. L. Dodgson
  • Woolf, Jenny (2010): "The Mystery of Lewis Carroll"

Articles[edit | edit source]

  • Arnold, Ethel (1929): "Reminiscences of Lewis Carroll" (Atlantic monthly, June 1929)
  • Atkinson, Gertrude (1948): "Memories of Lewis Carroll" (Hampshire Chronicle, 13 Mar 1948)
  • Cohen, Morton N. (2004): "Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge [Lewis Carroll] (1832–1898)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • Collingwood, Stuart Dodgson (1898b): "The Boyhood of Lewis Carroll" (Strand Magazine, December 1898)
  • Collingwood, Stuart Dodgson (1898b): "Lewis Carroll: An Interview with his Biographer" (Westminster Budget, 9 December 1898)
  • Cowley-Brown, G. J. (1898): "Personal Recollections of the Author of Alice in Wonderland" (Scottish Guardian, 28 Jan 1898)
  • Dodgson, Violet (1951): "Lewis Carroll - as I Knew Him" (London Calling, 28 June 1951)
  • Ffooks, Maud (1928): "Alice in Dorsetland" (The Dorset Yearbook, 1928)
  • Furniss, Harry (1908): "Recollections of Lewis Carroll" (Strand Magazine, Jan 1908)
  • Hargreaves, Alice Liddell (1932): "Alice's Recollections of Carrollian Days" (Cornhill Magazine, July 1932)
  • Hatch, Beatrice (1898a): "In Memorian Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)" (The Guardian, 19 Jan 1898)
  • Hatch, Beatrice (1898b): "Lewis Carroll" (Strand Magazine, April 1898)
  • Holiday, Henry (1898): "The Snark's Significance" (Academy, 29 Jan 1898)
  • Lucas, E. V. (1901): "Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge", Dictionary of National Biography
  • Maitland, Edith Alice (1899): "Childish Memories of Lewis Carroll" (Quiver, 1899)
  • Rivers, Katherine (1976): "Memories of Lewis Carroll" (McMaster University Library Research News, Vol. 3, No. 4, January 1976)
    • The reliability of this article has been queried, as it contains some clear errors of fact
  • Rowell, Ethel (1943): "To me he was Mr Dodgson" (Harper's Magazine, Feb 1943)
  • Shute, E. L. (1932): "Lewis Carroll as Artist" (Cornhill Magazine, Nov 1932)
  • Strong, Thomas Banks (1898): "Lewis Carroll" (Cornhill Magazine, March 1898)
  • Strong, Thomas Banks (1932): "Mr. Dodgson: Lewis Carroll at Oxford" (The Times, 27 Jan 1932)
  • Thompson, H. L. (1898): "The Late Rev. C. L. Dodgson" (Oxford Magazine, 26 Jan 1898)
  • Thomson, E. Gertrude (1898): "Lewis Carroll: A Sketch by an Artist-Friend" (Gentlewoman, 29 Jan & 5 Feb 1898)
  • Tollemache, Lionel (1898): "Reminiscences of Lewis Carroll" (Literature, 5 Feb 1898)
  • Woods, Margaret L. (1941): "Oxford in the Seventies" (Fortnightly Review #150, 1941)
    • The reliability of this article has been queried, as it contains some clear errors of fact

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