Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s literary achievement under the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll is often separated from his career as a Victorian mathematician and don. As Dodgson the reserved bachelor, he lived an extremely regular life, most of it at Christ Church College, Oxford, where he matriculated in 1850, taught mathematics from 1855 until 1881, and thereafter served as curator of the Senior Common Room. Despite the academic conventionality of these externals, Dodgson had diverse interests: photography, at which he excelled in his special interest areas (children and celebrities); visits with his child-friends; theatergoing; occasional preaching; and writing. As Lewis Carroll, he wrote what he, to some extent, considered children’s humor, indeed calling it “nonsense,” and this side of his work is often viewed as a form of sublimation. Carroll thus becomes the rebel who escaped from the tedium of being Dodgson. Certainly, Dodgson had his part in confining Carroll to the nursery: He allowed only little girls to use his pseudonym and refused in later life to acknowledge letters addressed to Lewis Carroll at his quarters. The Dodgson/Carroll split is too simple in one respect, however; at his best and most distinctive, he merges the perspectives of the logician and the poet. His intellectual agility is behind the playfulness that inspires the word magic.
Dodgson was the third child and eldest son of the eleven children of the Reverend Charles Dodgson and...
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