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

August 24th, 2019

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

Relating to a previously unseen letter that will 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

An obscure mathematician called Charles Lutwidge Dodgson penned a range of learned works with titles such as A Syllabus Of Plane Algebraic Geometry and The Fifth Book Of Euclid Treated Algebraically in the mid-19th century.

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

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was published under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll along with his life changed for good.

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

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

Within the letter written to Anne Symonds, the widow of eminent Oxford surgeon Frederick Symonds, he laments being thrust 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 leads to strangers hearing of my name that is real in using the books, also 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 experienced never written any books after all.”

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

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

As a result the creative genius who her response gave us Humpty Dumpty, the Cheshire Cat together with Mad Hatter was labelled a pervert, paedophile and pornographer.

Alice Liddell inspired him to publish the book GETTY

and I also hate all that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish that I had never written any written books at all

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

But while Dodgson never married, there clearly was a great amount of evidence in his diaries which he had a keen fascination with adult women both married and single and enjoyed an amount of relationships that could have now been considered scandalous by the standards of the time.

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

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

The speculation over Dodgson’s sexuality has its roots in the little girl to his relationship who was simply 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 pretty and vivacious 10-year-old as he first got to know her and then he would often take her out together with her sisters for picnics and boat trips regarding the Thames.

On these days he would entertain all of them with his stories concerning the Alice that is fictional he had been eventually persuaded to put into book form and send to a publisher.

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

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

“There is no evidence from her presence. which he was at love with her,” wrote Karoline Leach when you look at the Shadow of this Dreamchild. “No evidence that her family worried about her, no evidence which they banned him”

She added: “There are no letters or private diary entries to suggest any type of romantic or passionate attachment, or to indicate which he had an unique desire for her for any nevertheless the briefest time.”

It was not Alice who was the main focus of Dodgson’s attentions, she suggests, but her mother Lorina. Definately not being a means of grooming the daughter, their day trips were a cover for a separate and affair that is reckless the caretaker. When the Alice books were written Dodgson was in his 30s that are early.

Lorina, while 5 years older, was – within the words of writer William Langley – “a free spirit and a renowned beauty stuck in a dull marriage to Henry, the Dean, who was simply both notoriously boring and reputedly homosexual”.

He added:“Carroll might have already been regarded as something of an oddity around Oxford but in contrast to Henry he was handsome, youthful, engaging and witty. And then he managed to spend an amount that is astonishing of at the Liddells’ house a lot of it while Henry wasn’t in.”

It had been this liaison, based on Leach, which led family relations to censor his diaries as opposed to any inappropriate relationship with an girl that is underage. Her thesis is supported by the findings of another 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 with debt Dodgson gave away about Ј50 per 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.

Among the charities Dodgson supported was the Society For The 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 ladies who was indeed abused and trafficked and a hospital which specialised when you look at the treatment for venereal disease. It suggests he had been concerned because of the damage the sex trade inflicted upon women.”

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