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 previously never written the books about Alice’s adventures that made him a legend that is literary

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 essay writers 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 and his life changed for good.

Queen Victoria loved it, fan mail arrived because of the sackful in which he grew to become recognised in the street.

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

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

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

“All that kind of publicity contributes to strangers hearing of my real name in connection with the books, also to my being pointed out 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 1891, was penned 26 years after the publication of Alice In Wonderland, when he was 59 november.

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

Because of this the creative genius who gave us Humpty Dumpty, the Cheshire Cat in addition to Mad Hatter was labelled a pervert, paedophile and pornographer.

Alice Liddell inspired him to write the book GETTY

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

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

But while Dodgson never married, there is loads of evidence inside the diaries that he had a interest that is keen adult women both married and single and enjoyed an amount of relationships that will have now been considered scandalous because of the standards of that time period.

Sympathetic historians also argue his studies of naked children need to be noticed 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 rather than emblematic of a sick fascination with young flesh.

The speculation over Dodgson’s sexuality has its own 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 vivacious and pretty 10-year-old as he first surely 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 them with his stories in regards to the Alice that is fictional he had been eventually persuaded to place 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 which he was at love with her,” wrote Karoline Leach in The Shadow Of The Dreamchild. “No evidence that her family worried about 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 which he had an unique curiosity about her for almost any nevertheless the briefest time.”

It was not Alice who had been 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 separate and affair that is reckless the mother. If the Alice books were written Dodgson was at his early 30s.

Lorina, while five 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 had been both notoriously boring and reputedly homosexual”.

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

It was this liaison, based on Leach, which led household members to censor his diaries rather than 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 various charities while earning a salary of Ј300 (Ј33,000 today) teaching mathematics at Christ Church and double that in the shape of royalty payments from Macmillian, his publisher.

Among the list of 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 women who was in fact trafficked and abused and a hospital which specialised when you look at the treatment for venereal disease. It suggests the damage concerned him the sex trade inflicted upon women.”

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

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