What Do I Read Next?
Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 307
Several of the characters in “Jabberwocky” make a return visit in Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits (1876). Like “Jabberwocky,” The Hunting of the Snark is considered a masterpiece of nonsense verse.
Published toward the end of his life, Carroll’s Sylvie and Bruno (1889) and its sequel, Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (1893), have not enjoyed nearly the popularity that the two Alice books have. Still, these somewhat neglected books abound in fantasy and nonsense elements and offer some pleasurable reading.
Carroll, a lecturer in Mathematics at Christ Church in Oxford for many years, was as fascinated with logic as he was with fantasy and nonsense verse. For a look into this side of the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, his book Symbolic Logic (1896) makes for a thought-provoking read.
Although Carroll and his great nonsense-verse contemporary, Edward Lear (1812–1888), never met, it is widely believed that Carroll was greatly influenced by Lear’s nonsense verse. An excellent choice for encountering Lear’s equally zany world is The Book of Nonsense, originally published in 1846.
For a time, Carroll maintained a friendship and correspondence with the great English poet laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809–1892). Carroll, an early buff in the dawning age of photography, even took some photos of Tennyson and his family. For a look at the kind of “serious” poetry being composed in Victorian England, the kind of poetry that Carroll was never able to master, Tennyson’s poems are widely anthologized and published in a number of hefty collections. A particularly comprehensive collection is Tennyson’s Poems and Plays (1973).
While several anthologies of nonsense verse are available, a particularly choice one is The Faber Book of Nonsense Verse (1979), edited by Gregory Grisson. The book offers poems by such nonsense masters as Carroll, Lear, Christian Morgenstern, A. E. Housman, and Walter de la Mare.