Carroll, Lewis. (1832 - 1898).
L i f e
- searched for a vocation amid the negative ‘Babel of voices’ of the mid-Victorian England, and accepted the dull stability of life as a mathematics don at Christ Church, Oxford, and a deacon in the Church of England
- also one of the very best Victorian photographers, famous for his pictures of female child nudes x but: also a well-known gentlemen-photographer, author of pictures of people, animals, landscapes, works of art, etc.
W o r k
- displays a facility at word play, logic, and fantasy
C h i l d r e n F i c t i o n :
Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (1862):
- the provisional title of the story he began telling to the children of Dean Henry Liddell, including Alice Pleasance, in a rowing boat travelling on the Thames for a picnic outing
- a series of fantastic adventures of the child protagonist Alice after she fell through a rabbit-hole
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865):
- the revised and renamed manuscript of the former, wrote down the story on Alice's begging him to do so
- an intelligent and whimsical children’s book: takes a new view of children as distinct from adults rather than as adults-in-waiting, and re-considers the adult assumptions through the children’s eyes
- finds a joy in disjunction, distortion, and displacement = the mirror images of unity, shapeliness, and stability
- the protagonist: a child insistent on the rightness of the values of middle-class society and of the elementary education
- Alice survives her nightmares because she is only partly aware of their being nightmares, her earnest assurance and self-confidence give her a mental clarity to counter the games confronting her
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1872):
- a sequel of the former, in a darker mood
x but: Alice always wakes from her dreams/crosses back through the looking glass into what child readers are led to assume is an emotionally, physically, and intellectually secure world
P o e t r y :
- plays rhythmically with the paradoxes and whimsically with the philosophical propositions that fascinated him in his professional life
The Hunting of the Snark (1876):
- a fantastic comic ‘nonsense’ poem stretching the logic
- concerned with the adventures of a bizarre crew of variously inadequate beings, and one beaver, setting off to find the eponymous creature
(Selfphoto. Source: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorCharles Lutwidge Dodgson. Penname Lewis Carroll. (1832 - 1898). British.
WorkNovelist. Poet. Author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865).
GenresVictorian period. Children novel. Fantasy poetry.
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"Beware the Jabberwock, my son, / the jaws that bite and claws that scratch / Beware the jubjub bird / and shun the frumious bandersnatch."
From "Jabberwocky" (1971).