Alice In Wonderland author’s regret: Why Lewis Carroll hated being a legend that is literary

Alice In Wonderland author’s regret: Why Lewis Carroll hated being a legend that is literary

ACCORDING to a previously unseen letter that will soon be auctioned author Lewis Carroll despised fame so much he wished he previously never written the books about Alice’s adventures that made him a literary legend

Lewis Carroll’s life changed forever after Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was published GETTY

When you look at the mid-19th century an obscure mathematician called Charles Lutwidge Dodgson penned a range of learned works closely with titles such as for example A Syllabus Of Plane Algebraic Geometry therefore the Fifth Book Of Euclid Treated Algebraically.

Five years after the latter in 1865 he embarked on a change that is radical of.

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was published underneath the pseudonym Lewis Carroll and his life changed for good.

Queen Victoria loved it, fan mail arrived by the sackful in which he started to be recognised in the pub.

This is sheer hell for a shy and retiring academic who doubled as an Anglican deacon therefore the extent of his torment is revealed the very first time in a previously unseen letter which is anticipated to fetch more than Ј4,000 if it is auctioned at Bonhams month that is next.

The widow of eminent Oxford surgeon Frederick Symonds, he laments being thrust into the public eye by his success and treated like a zoo animal by admirers in the letter written to Anne Symonds.

He even suggests which he wishes he had never written the classic tales that brought him worldwide fame.

“All that sort of publicity contributes to strangers hearing of my name that is real in with the books, also to my being pointed out to, and stared at by strangers, and treated as a ‘lion’,” he wrote.

“And I hate all that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish that I experienced never written any books after all.”

The letter, written in 1891, was penned 26 years after the publication of Alice In Wonderland, when he was 59 november.

He died six years later and then how his reputation would be tarnished in death he would have been even more horrified if he had known. His fondness for the kids and his practice of photographing and sketching them, sometimes when you look at the nude, resulted in a lynching that is posthumous the court of literary opinion.

The creative genius who gave us Humpty Dumpty, the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter was labelled a pervert, paedophile and pornographer as a result.

Alice Liddell inspired him to write the book GETTY

And I hate all that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish that I had never written any books after all

The reality that four of this 13 volumes of his diaries mysteriously went missing and therefore seven pages of another were torn out by an unknown hand only added to the circumstantial evidence against him.

But while Dodgson never married, there was a good amount of evidence in his diaries that he had a interest that is keen adult women both married and single and enjoyed a wide range of relationships that will have already been considered scandalous because of the standards of that time period.

Sympathetic historians also argue his studies of naked children have to be present in the context of their own time.

The “Victorian child cult” perceived nudity as an expression of innocence and such images were mainstream and fashionable rather than emblematic of a sick desire for young flesh.

The speculation over Dodgson’s sexuality has its own roots in the little girl to his relationship who had been the inspiration for his fictional Alice. The real-life Alice was the younger daughter of Henry Liddell, Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford, where Dodgson plied his trade as a mathematician and served as a deacon.

She was by all accounts a vivacious and pretty 10-year-old as he first surely got to know her and he would often take her out along with her sisters for picnics and boat trips on the Thames.

On these days he would entertain them with his stories about the fictional Alice, tales he had been eventually persuaded to place into book form and send to a publisher.

While his critics have suggested after growing into adolescence, one biographer proposes a very different analysis that he grew fixated with Alice Liddell, took photographs of her in inappropriate poses and was devastated when she broke away from him.

The dodo presenting Alice with a thimble in an illustration by Tenniel GETTY

“There is not any evidence from her presence. which he was in love along with her,” wrote Karoline Leach into the Shadow of this Dreamchild. “No evidence that her family concerned about her, no evidence which they banned him”

She added: “There are no letters or private diary entries to suggest almost any romantic or passionate attachment, or even to indicate for any but the briefest time. which he had a special interest in her”

It absolutely was not Alice who was the focus of Dodgson’s attentions, she suggests, but her mother Lorina. Far from being a way of grooming the daughter, their day trips were a cover for a passionate and affair that is reckless the mother. If the Alice books were written Dodgson was at his 30s that are early.

Lorina, while 5 years older, was – into the words of writer William Langley – “a free spirit and a renowned beauty stuck in a dull marriage to Henry, the Dean, who was simply both notoriously boring and reputedly homosexual”.

He added:“Carroll might have been regarded as something of an oddity around Oxford but in contrast to Henry he was handsome, youthful, engaging and witty. And then he was able to spend an astonishing period of time at the Liddells’ house a lot of it while Henry wasn’t in.”

It was this liaison, according to Leach, which led loved ones to censor his diaries rather than any inappropriate relationship with an girl that is underage. Her thesis is supported by the findings of some other author, Jenny Woolf.

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She tracked down Dodgson’s bank records for her 2010 book The Mystery Of Lewis Carroll and discovered that despite often being with debt Dodgson gave away about Ј50 a year (Ј5,500 in today’s money) to charities that are various earning an income of Ј300 (Ј33,000 today) teaching mathematics at Christ Church and double that in the form of royalty payments from Macmillian, his publisher.

Among the charities Dodgson supported was the Society For The Protection Of Women and kids, an organisation that “used to track down and prosecute men who interfered with children”.

Woolf adds: “He also supported other charities which rehabilitated women who was indeed trafficked and abused and a hospital which specialised into the treatment plan for venereal disease. It suggests he had been concerned because of the damage the sex trade inflicted upon women.”

A sceptic might argue that this is the window-dressing of a young child abuser but Woolf makes a telling point in his favour.

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