Monday, November 09, 2009

To: Lewis Carroll....marked NOT KNOWN and returned.

"Although the Alice books brought Dodgson international fame, he hated publicity and refused to publish any photographs of himself. "Nothing would be more unpleasant to me than to have my face known to strangers," he once lamented.
Letters addressed to Lewis Carroll were marked "not known" and promptly returned.
After the first publication of Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Dodgson went on to write almost 300 other works of poetry, prose, scholarship, mathematics, satire, religion, invention and much more.

He died at Gildford, Surrey, on January 14, 1898, at exactly 2:30P,Pm, of influenza, two weeks before his sixty-sixth birthday.

Many of his papers were destroyed - some burned-almost immediately after his death. Volumes of his diaries were misplaced. Most of his belongings were auctioned off.

In, The Annotated Alice, Martin Gardner describes Charles L. Dodgson as a "fussy, prim, fastidious, cranky, kind and gentle bachelor whose life was sexless, uneventful and happy." He was a thin man who walked with a jerky gait. He became a lecturer of mathematics at Oxford, despite a lifelong stutter that made him sky in front of people.

Isa Bowman, in The Story of Lewis Carroll, 1900 says that he was a man of medium height. When I knew him his hair was a silver-grey, rather longer than it was the fashion to wear and his eyes were a deep blue. He was clean shaven and as he walked always seemed a little unsteady in his gait. At Oxford, he was a well-known figure. He was a little eccentric in his clothes. In the coldest weather he would never wear an overcoat and he had a curious habit of always wearing in all seasons of the year, a pair of grey and black cotton gloves."
Linda Sunshine, All Things Alice


  1. I'm so loving these tidbits about Alice In Wonderland, very curious and fun!
    Oh and your trees are awesome! :)

  2. Thanks Kim. I am so into Alice right now. I'm gearing up for the March release of Alice In Wonderland with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. sighhhhhhhhh :)Bea

  3. Started reading more about Lewis Carroll since reading your posts about AIW. He was a very interesting fellow and his puzzles were wonderful indeed. It was just amazing how his mind worked. It makes me wonder what he would have been like if he would have lived in todays time. Hummmm. Hope your studio is coming along well.

  4. Thanks Bea for this post. I know there is a beautiful interactive piece on-line in a British library that goes through one of the original Alice books page by page. Have you seen it? I think today he may have the label of Asperger's Syndrome as the descriptions of his character and manners are much the same.

  5. It makes you wonder why, Yvonne, his notebooks and things were burned or tossed right after his death. I wonder if he lived in a boarding house and they couldn't care less about him or did he live in his own home and relatives or friends didn't want his things read? :)Bea

  6. I haven't seen that Trudi. I have a book that shows different pictures from older books. They are quite wonderful. :)Bea

  7. How dreadful that such a lot of his writing was lost or burnt. It beggars belief. I think he had to be a bit 'different' to have written such fantastic books. What an imagination.