Lewis Carroll | Sunday Observer

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll is the pseudonym of mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, which he adopted when publishing his famous children’s novels.

The son of a Cheshire parson, Dodgson grew up in a large family which enjoyed composing magazines and putting on plays. In 1851, he went to Christ Church, Oxford. By 1855, he was lecturing in mathematics. He occupied a tower in the college for the rest of his life. He wrote many books on mathematics and logic, and enjoyed inventing puzzles and games and playing croquet.

His love of paradox and his fondness for small children led to the writing of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), a story which he began while rowing Lorina, Alice, and Edith, the three small daughters of the College Dean H G Liddell, up the Thames for a picnic near Binsey. A sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, appeared in 1871.

Interviewed when she was old, Alice remembered him as tall and slender, with blue/grey eyes, longish hair, and ‘carrying himself upright, almost more than upright, as if he had swallowed a poker’.

He published Phantasmagoria and Other Poems in 1869, The Hunting of the Snark in 1876 and Sylvie and Bruno in 1889.

Dodgson wrote and received ‘wheelbarrows full’ of letters (a letter register he started in his late 20s and kept for the rest of his life records more than 98,000 sent and received). Many of these were on religious and political issues.

Further information about the life of Lewis Carroll can be found via the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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