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Alice In Wonderland author’s regret: Why Lewis Carroll hated being a literary legend

Alice In Wonderland author’s regret: Why Lewis Carroll hated being a literary legend

Based on a previously unseen letter that may soon be auctioned author Lewis Carroll despised fame a great deal he wished he had never written the books about Alice’s adventures that made him a literary legend

Lewis Carroll’s life changed forever after Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was published GETTY

In the mid-19th century an obscure mathematician called Charles Lutwidge Dodgson penned a selection of learned works closely with titles such as for instance A Syllabus Of Plane Algebraic Geometry and The Fifth Book Of Euclid Treated Algebraically.

5 years after the latter in 1865 he embarked on a change that is radical of.

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was published underneath the pseudonym Lewis Carroll and his life changed for ever.

Queen Victoria loved it, fan mail arrived because of the sackful and he started to be recognised in the pub.

It was sheer hell for a shy and retiring academic who doubled as an Anglican deacon plus the extent of his torment is revealed for the first time in a previously unseen letter which can be anticipated to fetch a lot more than Ј4,000 if it is auctioned at Bonhams month that is next.

In the letter written to Anne Symonds, the widow of eminent Oxford surgeon Frederick Symonds, he laments being thrust in to the public eye by his success and treated like a zoo animal by admirers.

He even suggests he had never written the classic tales that brought him worldwide fame that he wishes.

“All that kind of publicity results in strangers hearing of my name that is real in because of the books, and to my being pointed off to, and stared at by strangers, and treated as a ‘lion’,” he wrote.

“And I hate all that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish that I had never written any books at all.”

The letter, written in November 1891, was penned 26 years following the publication of Alice In Wonderland, as he was 59.

He died six years later and if he had known then how his reputation could be tarnished in death he would have been even more horrified. His fondness for children and his practice of photographing and sketching them, sometimes when you look at the nude, led to a lynching that is posthumous the court of literary opinion.

The creative genius who gave us Humpty Dumpty, the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter was labelled a pervert, paedophile and pornographer as a result.

Alice Liddell inspired him to create the book GETTY

and I also hate all that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish that I experienced never written any books after all

The reality that four for the 13 volumes of his diaries mysteriously went missing and that seven pages of another were torn out by an unknown hand only put into the circumstantial evidence against him.

But while Dodgson never married, there is certainly loads of evidence inside the diaries which he had a interest that is keen adult women both married and single and enjoyed a number of relationships that could have already been considered scandalous by the standards of the time.

Sympathetic historians also argue his studies of naked children need to be observed in the context of their time.

The “Victorian child cult” perceived nudity as a manifestation of innocence and such images were mainstream and fashionable instead of emblematic of a fascination that is sick young flesh.

The speculation over Dodgson’s sexuality has its own roots in his relationship aided by the little girl who was the inspiration for his fictional Alice. The real-life Alice was the younger daughter of Henry Liddell, Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford, where Dodgson plied his trade as a mathematician and served as a deacon.

She was by all accounts a vivacious and pretty 10-year-old when he first surely got to know her and then he would often take her out with her sisters for picnics and boat trips from the Thames.

On these days he would entertain these with his stories about the fictional Alice, tales he was eventually persuaded to place into book form and send to a publisher.

While his critics have suggested which he grew fixated with Alice Liddell, took photographs of her in inappropriate poses and was devastated when she broke away from him after growing into adolescence, one biographer proposes a tremendously different analysis.

The dodo presenting Alice with a thimble in an illustration by Tenniel GETTY

“There is not any evidence which he was at love together with her,” wrote Karoline Leach when you look at the Shadow associated with the Dreamchild. “No evidence that her family focused on her, no evidence that they banned him from her presence.”

She added: “There are no letters or private diary entries to suggest any kind of romantic or passionate attachment, or even to indicate that he had an unique curiosity about her for any but the briefest time.”

It absolutely was not Alice who was simply the main focus of Dodgson’s attentions, she suggests, but her mother Lorina. Definately not being an easy method of grooming the daughter, their day trips were a cover for a passionate and affair that is reckless the caretaker. Once the Alice books were written Dodgson was at his early 30s.

Lorina, while five years older, was – within the words of write my paper website writer William Langley – “a free spirit and a renowned beauty stuck in a dull marriage to Henry, the Dean, who had been both notoriously boring and reputedly homosexual”.

He added:“Carroll might have been seen as something of an oddity around Oxford however in contrast to Henry he was handsome, youthful, engaging and witty. And he was able to spend an astonishing period of time at the Liddells’ house most of it while Henry wasn’t in.”

It absolutely was this liaison, based on Leach, which led household members to censor his diaries in the place of any inappropriate relationship with an underage girl. Her thesis is supported by the findings of some other author, Jenny Woolf.

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She tracked down Dodgson’s bank records for her 2010 book The Mystery Of Lewis Carroll and discovered that despite often being in debt Dodgson gave away about Ј50 a year (Ј5,500 in today’s money) to charities that are various earning an income of Ј300 (Ј33,000 today) teaching mathematics at Christ Church and double that in the form of royalty payments from Macmillian, his publisher.

On the list of charities Dodgson supported was the Society When it comes to Protection Of Women and kids, an organisation that “used to track down and prosecute men who interfered with children”.

Woolf adds: “He also supported other charities which rehabilitated women that had been abused and trafficked and a hospital which specialised into the treatment for venereal disease. It suggests the damage concerned him the sex trade inflicted upon women.”

A sceptic might argue that this was the window-dressing of a child abuser but Woolf makes a telling point in his favour.

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