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LEWIS CARROLL

1832-1898
English

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. "

Lewis Carroll was the pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, writer and mathematician, who was best known for writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1871).

Although published ostensibly as children’s books their satirical content and verbal wit have resulted in them appealing to readers of all ages. He invented his pen name by translating his first two names into the Latin ‘Carolus Lodovicus’ and then anglicising them.

Carroll was born at Daresbury in Cheshire in 1832, the son of a clergyman and the firstborn of eleven children. He began to entertain himself and his family from an early age with magic tricks, marionette shows and writing a home-made magazine.

Between 1846 and 1850 he attended Rugby School and then Christ College, Oxford from where he graduated in 1854. He stayed on at Oxford, lecturing and teaching, though with some difficulty due to his inherent shyness and stammer. These afflictions later affected his decision to  be ordained as a priest, though he had taken deacon’s orders in 1861.

It was at this stage of his life that Carroll became both interested in and proficient at the art of photography, particulary the photographing of young girls, one of whom, Alice Liddell, became the model for the fictional Alice. Carroll’s comic and children’s works also include collections of humorous verse. After these later publications his genius somewhat faded, though his reputation never waned. He remained at Oxford until his death from bronchitis in 1898.

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