Lewis Carroll

Article

January 26, 2022

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898), was a British Anglican novelist, short story writer, poet, draughtsman, photographer, mathematician and reverend. He taught mathematics at Christ College, Oxford. He is the author of the classic book Alice in Wonderland, in addition to other poems written in nonsense style throughout his literary career, which are considered political, due to the fusions and spatial arrangement of words, as precursors of avant-garde poetry.

Life

From an early age, Lewis Carroll received a religious upbringing, as his father intended to see him pursue that career. Carroll turned away from the career dreamed of by his father in January 1851, when he entered the University of Oxford. During his time at the university, he was always a student with a high degree of interest and effort, which earned him a medal of honor. Due to his performance as a mathematician he was invited to teach at the university after graduating.

Hobbies

As a child, Carroll played with puppets and sleight of hand (also called magic or illusionism), and throughout his life he enjoyed performing magic tricks, especially for children. He liked to model a mouse with a handkerchief and then make it jump mysteriously with his hand. He taught children to make paper boats and guns, which clicked when vibrated in the air. He became interested in photography when this art had barely emerged, specializing in portraits of children and famous people and composing his images with remarkable skill and taste. Carroll was passionate about various types of games, so much so that he invented a large number of puzzles, math and logic games; he enjoyed theater and was an opera-goer, and he maintained a lifelong friendship with actress Ellen Terry.

Alice

The story of Alice in Wonderland originated in 1862, when Carroll was taking a boat trip on the River Thames with his friend Alice Liddell (10 years old at the time) and her two sisters, the three daughters of the rector of Christ. Church. He began to tell a story that gave rise to the current one, about a girl named Alice who ended up in a fantastic world after falling down a rabbit hole. The real Alice liked the story so much that she asked Carroll to write it. Dodgson complied and in 1864 surprised her with a manuscript called Alice's Adventures Underground, in Portuguese. He later decided to publish the book and changed the original version, increasing its content from 18,000 words to 35,000, notably adding the scenes of the Cheshire Cat and the Hatter. The initial print run of 2,000 copies from 1865 was removed from shelves, due to complaints by illustrator John Tenniel about the quality of the print. The second print sold out quickly, and the work became a huge success, having been read by Oscar Wilde and Queen Victoria and having been translated into over 50 languages. In 1998, the first printing of the book (which had been rejected) was auctioned for US$1.5 million.

Riddles

Both of Carroll's children's books contain numerous math and logic problems hidden within their text. In Alice in Wonderland, the character Alice enters a den after a talking rabbit and falls into a fantastic and fantasy world. Many puzzles contained in his works are almost imperceptible to current readers, especially non-English speakers, as they contained period references, local jokes and puns that only make sense in the English language.

Controversy

One of his most striking lines was "I like children (except boys)". When he had the opportunity, he liked to draw or photograph scantily clad girls, with the

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