Saturday, August 19, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) (1832 – 1898)


British author, mathematician, Anglican clergyman, logician, and amateur photographer, more famous under the pen name Lewis Carroll.
I do not know if 'Alice in Wonderland' was an original story — I was, at least, no conscious imitator in writing it — but I do know that, since it came out, something like a dozen story-books have appeared, on identically the same pattern. The path I timidly explored believing myself to be 'the first that ever burst into that silent sea' — is now a beaten high-road: all the way-side flowers have long ago been trampled into the dust: and it would be courting disaster for me to attempt that style again.
Dodgson quotes
Last night we owned, with looks forlorn,
"Too well the scholar knows
There is no rose without a thorn" —
But peace is made! We sing, this morn,
"No thorn without a rose!"
Our Latin lesson is complete:
We've learned that Love is Bitter-Sweet!
Dodgson
The star that danced at Carroll's birth
In high exuberance of mirth
Is dancing yet.




And the exquisite nonsense he talked! It was like pages out of the Alices, only more delightful, for there was his own voice and smile to give the true charm to it all.
I wasn't asleep! said Bruno, in a deeply-injured tone. "When I shuts mine eyes, it's to show that I'm awake!"
He impressed me mainly as belonging to the type of 'the University Man': a certain externalism of polite propriety, verging towards the conventional. I do not think in my presence he said anything 'funny' or quaint.
The day was wet, the rain fell souse
Like jars of strawberry jam, a
sound was heard in the old henhouse,
A beating of a hammer.
My father was a Brownie, Sir;
My mother was a Fairy.
The notion had occurred to her,
The children would be happier,
If they were taught to vary.

The notion soon became a craze;
And, when it once began, she
Brought us all out in different ways -
One was a Pixy, two were Fays,
Another was a Banshee.
Dodgson
To have known the man was even as great a treat as to read his books. Lewis Carroll was as unlike any other man as his books were unlike any other author's books. It was a relief to meet the pure simple, innocent dreamer of children, after the selfish commercial mind of most authors.
Lewis Carroll was especially kind to Charlie and me, though when I was only five I offended him once when, at a children’s party at Hatfield, he was telling us a story. He was a stammerer and being unable to follow what he was saying I suddenly asked in a loud voice, "Why does he waggle his mouth like that?" I was hastily removed by the lady-in-waiting.
Blow, blow your trumpets till they crack,
Ye little men of little souls!
And bid them huddle at your back -
Gold-sucking leeches, shoals on shoals!




If the Letter is to be in answer to another, begin by getting out that other letter and reading it through, in order to refresh your memory, as to what it is you have to answer, and as to your correspondent’s present address (otherwise you will be sending your letter to his regular address in London, though he has been careful in writing to give you his Torquay address in full).
I suppose every child has a world of his own — and every man, too, for the matter of that. I wonder if that's the cause for all the misunderstanding there is in Life?
Dodgson quotes
Yet still to choose a brat like you,
To haunt a man of forty-two,
Was no great compliment!"
Since I have possessed a "Wonderland Stamp Case", Life has been bright and peaceful, and I have used no other. I believe the Queen's laundress uses no other.
Went to the new Church both morning and afternoon, and read service in the afternoon. I got through it all with great success, till I came to read out the first verse of the hymn before the sermon, where the two words ‘strife strengthened,’ coming together, were too much for me, and I had to leave the verse unfinished.
We worked together for seven years. Tenniel and other artists declared I would not work with Carroll for seven weeks! I accepted the challenge, but I, for that purpose, adopted quite a new method. No artist is more matter-of-fact or businesslike than myself: to Carroll I was not Hy. F., but someone else, as he was someone else. I was wilful and erratic, bordering on insanity. We therefore got on splendidly.
The benefaction which he bestowed upon the world is still with us - the benefaction of a wit that was never sarcastic, a humour that was always sympathetic; and the embodiment in himself of the three essentials of Life: Faith, the light by which to live; Hope, the goal for which to labour; Charity, the wide horizon, to which his soul looked out in love.
Charles Dodgson, born a romantic and a rationalist, would have fitted more easily into the world of Voltaire and Goethe than into the one that received him.
Fair stands the ancient Rectory,
The Rectory of Croft,
The sun shines bright upon it,
The breezes whisper soft.
From all the house and garden
Its inhabitants come forth,
And muster in the road without,
And pace in twos and threes about,
The children of the North.


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