February 20, 2007

Happy Birthday, Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll

In honor of the anniversary of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), a new exhibit is on display in the library, just in front of the Service Desk. 

Lewis Carroll, pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 - 1898), was born in Daresbury, Cheshire, and educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he lectured in mathematics after 1855 and took orders in 1861.  His most famous book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland  (1865), had its origin in a boat trip which he made with Alice Liddell and her sisters, the daughters of the Dean of his college, Henry George Liddell.  A sequel, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, appeared in December 1871 (dated 1872). They were illustrated by Sir John Tenniel, and have since appeared in innumerable translations and editions. Their success among children was doubtless due to their cast of fantastic characters (Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the White Rabbit and the March Hare) and the fact that Carroll eschewed moralising. His other works include Phantasmagoria and Other Poems (1869), The Hunting of the Snark (1876), Rhyme? and Reason? (1883) and Sylvie and Bruno (2 vols, 1889 and 1893). Of his mathematical works Euclid and his Modern Rivals (1879) is still of interest. He was also a pioneer photographer, and took many portraits, particularly of young girls. His diaries appeared in 1953, and an edition of his letters in 1979.

From: Chambers Biographical Dictionary, © Chambers Harrap Publishers Limited 2003