2. THE AUTHOR, Lewis Carroll
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, alias Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
"Lewis Carroll" was the pseudonym that Charles
Lutwidge Dodgson created
by translating his first and middle names into Latin, reversing
their order, and translating them back into English. This
happened in 1856 after he had begun writing humorous texts
and stories to keep them separate from his serious mathematical
writings which he published under his real name.
Lutwidge Dodgson was born on Jan. 27, 1832. His early
years were happy with his nine sisters and two brothers to whom
he frequently made up games and wrote stories. His school years
at Rugby (1846-1849) were not so happy because he was shy and
But he was still recognized as a good scholar, and
in 1850 he was admitted to Christ Church College in Oxford, England.
He graduated in 1854, and was appointed a mathematical lecturer
at the college the following year.
This appointment was permanent and recognized his academic superiority
which also brought him financial security. The appointment meant
that Dodgson had to take orders from the Anglican Church and
not get married. In 1861 he was ordained a deacon.
Lutwidge Dodgson more widely known as Lewis Carroll,
died of pneumonia suddenly and unexpectedly in January 1898.
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and Through the
In 1856 Dodgson met Lorina, Alice and Edith Liddell,
daughters of Henry George Liddell, the Dean of Christ Church
College in Oxford. During the next few years he spent a lot
of time with the girls, photographed them and made up stories
for them. On July 4, 1862, Dodgson was travelling on a boat
to go to a picnic with a friend, Reverend Robinson Duckworth,
and the Liddell girls.
To keep the girls entertained Dodgson told
them a story of a girl named Alice and her magical adventures
under ground. Alice’s sisters appeared in the story
as well. The girls loved the story, and Alice Liddell asked
Dodgson to write it down for her.
On 26 November 1864 Dodgson gave Alice the manuscript of
Alice's Adventures Under Ground. But before that Dodgson had
given the unfinished manuscript to his mentor George MacDonald.
His children loved the story and MacDonald advised Dodgson
to publish it.
Before submitting it to publication Dodgson
was fortunate to have the famous illustrator John Tenniel
to draw the illustrations for it. He also decided on the name
“Lewis Carroll” which would become his author
name. The manuscript was retitled Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
In June 1865, Dodgson's tale was published as Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland by "Lewis Carroll"
with illustrations by John Tenniel.
The first print run was only 2,000 copies and it sold out
quickly. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was a publishing
sensation being printed edition after edition. It has been
translated into 125 languages and it has been a favourite
children’s story in the minds of children and adults
Lewis Carroll was encouraged by the success of Alice and he
wrote a sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What
Alice Found There, published in 1872.
3. ALICE LIDDELL – The main inspiration for
Alice in Wonderland
Pleasance Liddell was born on May 4th 1852, to Henry
George Liddell, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and his wife
Lorina Hanna. Alice was the fourth of their 10 children. She
had two older brothers and an older sister. She also had six
younger siblings. Two of her brothers died young.
Alice grew up primarily in the company of the two sisters
nearest to her in age: Lorina, who was three years older,
and Edith, who was two years younger.
In 1880 Alice married at the age of 28. They had three sons
but unfortunately two of them, Alan Knyveton Hargreaves and
Leopold Reginald Hargreaves, were killed in World War I. Caryl
Liddell Hargreaves was the only surviving son who was to give
Alice her only grandchild, a girl.
Alice was an educated woman and she lived the life of a land-lady.
She was also an enthusiastic painter.