Subscribe to read | Financial Times
'The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Carroll, therefore, whose relationship with his young muse Alice Liddell has long. "What is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or by the name of Charles Dodgson, better-known as Lewis Carroll (January Meet the girl that inspired the iconic Alice in Wonderland, and the relationship between the creator that caused a scandal.
Make informed decisions with the FT.
As the household grew to include 11 children, Charles did not lack for company. According to college rules, senior students had to be ordained as priests and take a vow of celibacy; Dodgson evaded the ordination rule and lived at the college unmarried, until his death inless than two weeks before his 66th birthday.
The Liddells would have five more children. Before long, Dodgson struck up a friendship with Harry, then 9. On a July afternoon inhe took the three Liddell sisters on a stretch of the river between Oxford and Godstow and told them the story that would become Alice. Alice Liddell, then 10, was delighted that the main character bore her name and asked Dodgson to write down the story.
- The Missing Pages In Lewis Carroll’s Diary And The Secrets Of His Relationship With Alice Liddell
- Navigation menu
- Choose the subscription that is right for you
At this time, Dodgson was taking photographs. Although the camera was still a relatively new technology, he had been an early enthusiast, starting inand he found no shortage of friends who wanted him to make likenesses of them or their children.
Some of his portraits—even those in which the model is clothed—might shock sensibilities, but by Victorian standards they were Victorians saw childhood as a state of grace; even nude photographs of children were considered pictures of innocence itself. In discussing the possibility of photographing one 8-year-old girl unclothed, Dodgson wrote to her mother: And although he resumed socializing with the dean and his wife, he never took their daughters out again.
Inhowever, he did give Alice a present: His slight air of mystery added to his fame, which spread by word of mouth. Eventually he was invited to entertain two grandchildren of Queen Victoria herself. What if he did love children, and in that love was a sexual element?
What if he admired the bodies of little girls and never touched one? There is no doubt that he was tormented by what he called "the inclinations of my sinful heart". Even his mathematical writings were marked by his struggle. In the introduction to Curiosa Mathematica, Part II, he wrote that fixing one's mind on mathematics as one lay in bed could ward off "unholy thoughts, which torture with their hateful presence, the fancy that would fain be pure".
Strong language for a book about trigonometry. The picture we get of is of a man afraid of his own dreams, struggling for command over himself.
Lewis Carroll's Shifting Reputation | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
In one of his most charming analyses, the biographer Morton Cohen actually charted Dodgson's moments of greatest torment and insomnia in his diaries and found that they correlated to the days on which he saw Alice. But Dodgson's response to any heightened agitation he felt with children was this: His feelings rhymed and punned themselves into expression.
He chatted her up with the manic energy of Wonderland. His frustration, his alienation, blossomed into the caterpillar at the hookah and Humpty Dumpty and the Mad Hatter. He channelled his devotion into a wild and lovely literary universe; his imagination so dangerous and inflamed, it fled the real world.
He called the Alice books a "love-gift".
Alice Liddell - Wikipedia
And because this love is unrequited, because it is impossible, ethereal, because he cannot allow himself to fully feel it, there is a hint of sadness. As he puts it, "a shadow of a sigh" trembles through the story. To me, there is a nobility in a self-restraint so forceful that it spews out stuttering tortoises and talking chess pieces rather than focus on the matter at hand. There is something touching about a man who fights the hardest fight in the world: You can feel the loneliness on the page.
Alice became a noted society hostess and was the first president of Emery Down Women's Institute. It later became the possession of Eldridge R.
Johnson and was displayed at Columbia University on the centennial of Carroll's birth. Alice was present, aged 80, and it was on this visit to the United States that she met Peter Llewelyn Daviesone of the brothers who inspired J. Barrie 's Peter Pan.
Upon Johnson's death, the book was purchased by a consortium of American bibliophiles and presented to the British people "in recognition of Britain's courage in facing Hitler before America came into the war". The manuscript resides in the British Library. For most of her life, Alice lived in and around Lyndhurst in the New Forest. A memorial plaque, naming her "Mrs. Reginald Hargreaves" can be seen in the picture in the monograph.
As the Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed the boat, Dodgson regaled the girls with fantastic stories of a girl, named Alice, and her adventures after she fell into a rabbit-hole. The story was not unlike those Dodgson had spun for the sisters before, but this time Liddell asked Mr. Dodgson to write it down for her. He promised to do so but did not get around to the task for some months. In the meantime, Dodgson had decided to rewrite the story as a possible commercial venture.
Probably with a view to canvassing his opinion, Dodgson sent the manuscript of Under Ground to a friend, the author George MacDonaldin the spring of Alice's Adventures in Wonderlandwith illustrations by John Tennielwas published inunder the name Lewis Carroll.
Ina facsimile of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, the original manuscript that Dodgson had given Liddell, was published. Relationship with Lewis Carroll[ edit ] Liddell dressed in her best outfit. Photo by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson Speculation on the sexuality of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson The relationship between Liddell and Dodgson has been the source of much controversy. Dodgson entertained the children by telling them fantastic stories to while away the time. He also used them as subjects for his hobby, photography.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message The relationship between the Liddells and Dodgson suffered a sudden break in June There was no record of why the rift occurred, since the Liddells never openly spoke of it, and the single page in Dodgson's diary recording 27—29 June which seems to cover the period in which it began was missing;  it has been speculated by biographers such as Morton N.
Cohen that Dodgson may have wanted to marry the year-old Alice Liddell, and that this was the cause of the unexplained break with the family in June