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Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll Lewis Carroll[1†]

Lewis Carroll, whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was an English author, poet, mathematician, and photographer[1†][2†]. He is best known for his children’s books, particularly “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (1865) and its sequel “Through the Looking-Glass” (1871)[1†][2†]. His works are celebrated for their word play, logic, and elements of fantasy[1†]. Carroll’s contributions extended beyond literature; he was also a skilled mathematician and inventor[1†].

Carroll was born on January 27, 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire, England, and died on January 14, 1898, in Guildford, Surrey[1†][2†]. He spent most of his life as a scholar and teacher at Christ Church, Oxford[1†]. Alice Liddell, the daughter of Henry Liddell, the Dean of Christ Church, is widely identified as the original inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, although Carroll always denied this[1†].

In addition to his literary achievements, Carroll was an avid puzzler and created the word ladder puzzle, which he published in his weekly column for Vanity Fair magazine between 1879 and 1881[1†]. His legacy continues to be celebrated today, with societies around the world dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works[1†].

Early Years and Education

Lewis Carroll, born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was born on January 27, 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire, England[2†][3†]. He was the eldest son and third of eleven children born to Frances Jane Lutwidge and the Reverend Charles Dodgson[2†][3†]. Carroll’s childhood was filled with literary games and drawing, activities that he shared with his seven sisters and three brothers[2†][4†]. These early experiences likely influenced his later works[2†][4†].

Carroll’s father, the Rev. Charles Dodgson, served as the perpetual curate of Daresbury from 1827 until 1843, when he became rector of Croft in Yorkshire[2†]. This position, which he held for the rest of his life, also included roles as the archdeacon of Richmond and a canon of Ripon cathedral[2†]. Carroll’s mother, Frances Jane Lutwidge, was described as patient and gentle, raising her children to be good people[2†][3†].

Carroll’s formal education began at Rugby School in 1846[2†][3†]. Despite finding his years at Rugby School to be unhappy, Carroll was recognized as a good student[2†][3†]. In 1850, he was admitted to Christ Church, Oxford, England, for further study[2†][3†][5†]. He graduated in 1854 and became a mathematical lecturer at the college in 1855[2†][3†][5†]. This permanent appointment not only recognized his academic skills but also provided him with a decent income[2†][3†].

Carroll’s commitment to his academic career was evident in his agreement to take holy orders in the Anglican Church and remain unmarried, requirements of his appointment[2†][3†]. He was made a deacon in 1861[2†][3†].

Career Development and Achievements

Lewis Carroll, born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, began his career as a lecturer in Mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1855[6†]. He was noted for his facility with word play, logic, and fantasy[6†][1†]. His mathematical background played a significant role in his writing, as he often incorporated logical puzzles and riddles into his stories[6†][1†].

Carroll’s most notable works are “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (1865) and its sequel “Through the Looking-Glass” (1871)[6†][2†][1†]. These works are celebrated for their imaginative storytelling, unique characters, and the incorporation of Carroll’s interest in word play and logic[6†][1†]. His poem “The Hunting of the Snark” (1876) is also a significant contribution to the genre of literary nonsense[6†][2†][1†].

In addition to his literary achievements, Carroll was an avid puzzler. He created the word ladder puzzle, which he then called “Doublets”, and published it in his weekly column for Vanity Fair magazine between 1879 and 1881[6†][1†]. This puzzle further demonstrated his love for logic and word play[6†][1†].

Carroll’s works have had a lasting impact on the literary world. His unique blend of nonsense literature, logic, and fantasy has influenced many authors and has resulted in his works being translated into numerous languages[6†][2†][1†]. His stories have been adapted into plays, films, and even ballets, demonstrating the enduring appeal of his imaginative world[6†][2†][1†].

Despite his success as an author, Carroll remained committed to his academic career. He continued to teach at Christ Church until his retirement in 1881[6†][1†]. His contributions to the field of mathematics, while less known than his literary works, were significant. He made contributions to the fields of linear algebra, voting theory, and mathematical logic[6†][1†].

Carroll’s legacy continues to be celebrated today, with societies around the world dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works[6†][1†]. In 1982, a memorial stone to Carroll was unveiled at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey[6†][1†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Lewis Carroll’s most notable works include:

Each of these works demonstrates Carroll’s unique blend of nonsense literature, logic, and fantasy. They have been translated into numerous languages and continue to be celebrated today[1†][2†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Lewis Carroll’s works are celebrated for their unique blend of fantasy, humor, and wordplay, stimulating both the mind and the imagination[9†]. His characters are often personifications of philosophical or linguistic problems, functioning much like counters in a game whose rules change according to Carroll’s fancy[9†]. The books have rudimentary characteristics of the bildungsroman—Alice’s changes in size or status suggesting puberty and development—but Alice herself is static[9†]. Like Gulliver or Candide, she is the “straight man” in the comedy, less important as a character than as a stabilizing perspective—that of the “normal” child in a mad world[9†].

Carroll’s work often turns into wordplay, not confined to his fiction and poetry[9†]. He published more than three hundred separate works, consisting of formal mathematical and logical treatises, essays on cranky subjects, satires on Oxford’s academic politics, numerous acrostics, puzzles, and trivia[9†]. His work in formal mathematics is sober, systematic, and unoriginal[9†]. His contribution in logic was made indirectly and intuitively by way of his “nonsense,” which dramatized in paradoxes and wordplay concepts later taken up by linguistic philosophers such as Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein[9†].

In general, Carroll wrote best when least serious and when working in a hybrid form somewhere between linguistic analysis and literature[9†]. In his best art, in works such as "A Tangled Tale" (1885), a cross between narrative and mathematics, or the philosophical dialogue “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles,” the logician and poet combine forces[9†].

Carroll’s rage for order in life helps explain his interest in the order or lack of order in Wonderland[9†][10†]. His logical mind contributed to the topsy-turvy logic in Alice, and of course his interest in little girls lead to the creation of Alice herself[9†][10†].

Personal Life

Lewis Carroll, born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was the eldest son and third child in a family of seven girls and four boys[1†][11†]. His family was predominantly northern English, conservative, and high-church Anglican[1†]. Most of his male ancestors were army officers or Anglican clergymen[1†]. His great-grandfather, Charles Dodgson, had risen through the ranks of the church to become the Bishop of Elphin in rural Ireland[1†].

Carroll’s father, Charles Dodgson, married his first cousin Frances Jane Lutwidge in 1830 and became a country parson[1†]. Carroll himself remained unmarried throughout his life[1†][12†]. He developed a long relationship with Christ Church, Oxford, where he lived for most of his life as a scholar and teacher[1†]. Alice Liddell, the daughter of Henry Liddell, the "Dean of Christ Church", is widely identified as the original inspiration for "Alice in Wonderland", though Carroll always denied this[1†].

Carroll died at the age of 66 on January 14, 1898, in Guildford, Surrey[1†][2†][1†]. His legacy continues to be celebrated today, with societies around the world dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works[1†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Lewis Carroll’s works have had a profound impact on the literary world and continue to be celebrated today[1†][2†]. His unique blend of fantasy, humor, and wordplay has influenced many authors and resulted in his works being translated into numerous languages[1†][2†]. His stories have been adapted into plays, films, and even ballets, demonstrating the enduring appeal of his imaginative world[1†][2†].

Carroll’s characters consistently ignored the commonly understood to reach a more logical conclusion[1†][13†]. This type of logic is used by the King in “Through the Looking-Glass” when he asks Alice to look down the road to see who’s coming[1†][13†]. This demonstrates Carroll’s unique blend of nonsense literature, logic, and fantasy[1†][2†].

First published in 1865, Carroll’s famous story “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” has never been out of print[1†][14†]. In the past 150 years, it has been translated into about 170 languages, performed countless times on stage, and adapted time and again for film and television[1†][14†].

In 1982, a memorial stone to Carroll was unveiled at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey[1†]. There are societies in many parts of the world dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works[1†][2†].

Carroll’s legacy continues to be celebrated today, with societies around the world dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works[1†][2†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Lewis Carroll [website] - link
  2. Britannica - Lewis Carroll: British author [website] - link
  3. Encyclopedia of World Biography - Lewis Carroll Biography [website] - link
  4. Unknown Cite [website] - link
  5. Britannica Kids - Lewis Carroll [website] - link
  6. Lewis Carroll Centre - Timeline [website] - link
  7. Britannica - What are Lewis Carroll’s most famous works? [website] - link
  8. Simple Wikipedia (English) - Lewis Carroll [website] - link
  9. eNotes - Lewis Carroll Analysis [website] - link
  10. Emporia State Institutional Repository Collection - Alice in Wonderland: a summary of selected criticism and an explication. [website] - link
  11. The Famous People - Lewis Carroll Biography [website] - link
  12. Historic UK - The Real Lewis Carroll and Alice [website] - link
  13. Alice-in-wonderland.net - The influence of Lewis Carroll’s life on his work [website] - link
  14. University of Maryland - Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll [website] - link
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