Lewis Carroll Additional Biography


(British and Irish Poetry, Revised Edition)

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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(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was the third of eleven children and the eldest son of the Reverend Charles Dodgson and Frances Jane Lutwidge. The younger Charles Dodgson was left-handed and spoke with a stutter, an affliction from which he would suffer his whole life. With eight younger siblings, he very early developed the knack of amusing children, an ability he would keep as an adult. For their amusement, he wrote and drew little magazines that demonstrated the whimsy later seen in his Alice books. Some of the verses in the Alice books received their first auditions in these family magazines.

At age twelve, Dodgson attended Richmond Grammar School, and the following year, the famous public school at Rugby. Nearly four years at Rugby, which he later recalled with displeasure, prepared him for Oxford University: He entered Christ Church College there on January 24, 1851. He distinguished himself in mathematics and classics, though difficulty with philosophy and history kept him in the lower third of his class. On December 18, 1854, he received his A.B. with first-class honors in mathematics. He stayed on at Christ Church as a tutor and lecturer. At this time his earliest stories and poems appeared in periodicals at Oxford and Whitby.

Early in 1856 Dodgson acquired his first camera, then a relatively rare and complicated device restricted to use by specialists. A large number of his photographs, mostly of young girls, survive, and one historian of...

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(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

ph_0111201527-Carroll.jpg Lewis Carroll Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was born on January 27, 1832, in the parsonage of Daresbury, Cheshire, England. The third child and the eldest son of the eleven children of the Reverend Charles Dodgson and Frances Jane Lutwidge, he was descended from two North Country families with a long tradition of service to church and state. The world has come to know Charles Dodgson as Lewis Carroll, a pseudonym he chose in 1856 for his fictional and poetical works. He reserved his family name for his academic books and essays.

When he was eleven years old, his family moved from Daresbury to the rectory at Croft, just inside the Yorkshire boundary, where his father assumed his new duties as rector. During his years at Croft, Carroll...

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(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

In contrast with the seeming placidity and orderliness of his life at Oxford, Lewis Carroll’s writings exhibit considerable violence and disorder and a powerful struggle to control and contain those forces underground. This contrast, which gave rise to his two masterpiecesAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There—marks a fundamental conflict within Carroll himself, a ruthless battle between emotion and reason, sentiment and satire, chaos and control. Carroll was sometimes an intensely lonely man who needed the nonthreatening company of children to buoy his spirits and distract him from thoughts of death and the void. His books on mathematics and logic, which document the life of his mind, pale in comparison with his two Alice books and nonsense poetry, which document his obsession with the child girl and his unique comic battle with the great human fears that possess all human beings.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll came to be known to millions as the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, was the son of the rector of Daresbury, the Reverend Charles Dodgson, and Frances Jane Lutwidge. He was the eldest of a family of eleven children, with seven sisters and three brothers. After a pleasant and for the most part solitary childhood he attended Richmond School and then Rugby for three extremely unhappy years. In 1851, the year he formally went into residence as a student at Christ Church College, Oxford, his mother died. He was deeply affected by her death, and his later verses show the affection he felt for his gentle mother. In his nonsense stories some critics have...

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(Poetry for Students)

Lewis Carroll was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on January 27, 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire; he was the eldest son of a clergyman in the...

(The entire section is 196 words.)


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, son of Frances Jane Lutwidge and the Reverend Charles Dodgson, was born January 27, 1832, at Daresbury, Cheshire,...

(The entire section is 411 words.)


(Novels for Students)

Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who wrote under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, was one of the most creative writers of children's fantasy in...

(The entire section is 635 words.)